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Revised Fourth Edition 

James Cooke Brown 


c/o Jennifer Brown 

1701 N.E. 75 St. 

Gainesville, FL 32641 

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James Jennings 


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Downloading the PDF Edition of this book, and making one paper copy of it for your personal 
use, may be done without payment to The Institute, and while such individual copies may be 
loaned without charge to other readers, no such copies, nor portions thereof made on any 
medium shall be used for any commercial purpose whatever without the express written 
permission of the copyright owner, The Loglan Institute, Inc. 

As of this writing, the 1989 Fourth Edition is still in print for those who prefer a bound book. 

Copyright Page From the 4th Paper Edition 

To the memory of 



Copyright © 1966, 1969, 1975, 1989 

by The Loglan Institute, Inc. 

All Rights Reserved 

The word 'Loglan'® is a registered trademark of The Loglan Institute, Inc., and may not be used 
on packaging or descriptions of products offered for sale unless a license for such use has been 
granted the vendor by The Loglan Institute. Such licenses will not normally be denied vendors 
who agree to use authentic Loglan in their products. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Brown, James Cooke, 1921- 
Loglan 1: A logical language 
Fourth edition. 

Bibliography: p. 

1. Loglan (Artificial language) I. Loglan Institute. II Title. 

PM8590.B7 1989 499'.99 89-7968 

ISBN 1-877665-00-Z 

Printed in the U.S.A. 

BookCrafters - Fredericksburg 



This edition is double the size of the Third Edition and reflects the re-engineering of Loglan that 
took place between 1975 and 1989, a research program participated in by the hundreds of active 
loglanists who assembled around the language after the 1975 publications. Part of the increase in 
size of this new edition is due to the fact that it has some 60 pages of word-lists, while the Third 
Edition had but a single glossary of 16 pages. The reason for the inclusion of these new and 
bulkier word- lists is that this edition, unlike its predecessor, must stand alone. The 1975 edition 
was accompanied by the then- freshly revised Second Edition of our dictionaries, Loglan 4 & 5, 
also published in 1975. But in the last half dozen years the Loglan word-makers have been very 
active. Since 1975 the lexicon of Loglan has more than doubled in size. In particular, it has 
grown from around 4,000 terms then to more than 9,000 terms, and at present rates of growth 
there could well be 12,000 terms in our dictionary files by the time the Third Edition of our 
dictionary is ready to be printed. While all these new lexical materials are safely stored on The 
Institute's computers, where they may be-and often are-augmented, The Institute does not yet 
have the editorial staff to build a bilingual dictionary which is three or even two times the size of 
our present one. Dictionary- work is by far the most labor-intensive, and therefore the most 
costly, work we do. It is hoped that with the publication of this Fourth Edition we will grow 
sufficiently both in numbers and in revenues in the next few years to make the expansion and 
publication of a new bilingual dictionary of 10,000 or 15,000 Loglan terms the next large project 
of The Loglan Institute. 

In the meantime, Loglan 1 must, as I say, stand alone. It must not only serve the user as a 
resource book on the grammar, morphology, and usages of the new language, but also as a tool 
with which to update and freely add to the old dictionary. By including complete lists of 
primitives and affixes in this volume, I have tried to make it possible for the buyer of this book 
who also owns a copy of the 1975 dictionary to update the latter on demand. For example, 
suppose such a user were to look up the 1975 word for 'understand'. He or she would find the so- 
called "complex" word sadjawith sanpadjano ("sign- know") listed as its "deriving metaphor". 
The user could safely assume that the metaphor was still valid. So using Appendix B of this 
volume, the user would find that saa- and -djawere among the new affixes of sanpaand djano, 
and they could then be confidently combined to produce the new Loglan word for 'understand', 
namely saactid (pronounced "sah-AHD-ja"). Moreover, by following the rules given in this 
book, all users will arrive at this result. 

The language has grown in all its other departments as well. Usages in particular have 
multiplied. Loglan morphology, too, is now better understood; and so its exposition has grown. 
Above all, Loglan grammar is now a much more flexible Instrument than it was in 1975 as well 
as a completely conflict-free one; so there are now many more ways of using it. As a 
conseguence of these additions to the language, nearly all the chapters of the Third Edition have 
had to be considerably expanded. The only exceptions are the Foreword, which though 
supplemented with a new historical addendum has been otherwise left intact, and Chapter 7, 
which is entirely new. In the latter I discuss for the first time publically a detailed program for 
testing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis with Loglan. This project may still be some years away. But 

it may well be time for the present generation of loglanists to prepare themselves for their crucial 
roles in it. 

April, 1989 


This work is a revision and abridgement of the Second Edition published on microfilm in 1969 
(University Microfilms Catalogue No. S-398, Ann Arbor, Michigan). Virtually no grammatical 
changes have taken place in the language since that date but a system of "implicit guantification" 
has been introduced with the object of making certain logically complex expressions speakable, 
and these have occasioned certain minor changes in the usage- patterns of the language. The new 
usages will be found in Section 3.16 in Chapter 3 (4.16 in the earlier edition), Sections 4.21 and 
4.24 (formerly 5.21 and 5.24), Sections 5.9, 5.11, 5.16-18 and 5.22 (6.9, 6.11, 6.16-18 and 6.21), 
and Section 5.21 is new. As the preparation of this edition was undertaken after the 1972-74 
revision of the dictionary had been completed, Chapter 6 on Words and Growth has been almost 
entirely rewritten to accommodate the new lexical materials; in particular, Sections 6.2-4 are 
new. Chapter 7 of the Second Edition on Uses and Prospects has been eliminated in this edition 
both for reasons of space and because some of those prospects have been realized. For example, 
it is now clear that Loglan is a speakable language. It is therefore reasonable to hope that the 
publication of this Third Edition together with a newly augmented edition of the dictionary 
(Loglan 4 & 5) will make possible the experimental work for which the language was originally 
designed. Those wishing to participate in this work may communicate with the Institute through 
either of the addresses given on the title page. 



April, 1975 


Substantial portions of this work have been published in a First Edition issued by the Loglan 
Institute in 1966. The present work is a revision and augmentation of that earlier one. In 
particular, the Foreword, Chapters 1 and 2, and Sections 4.7, 5.12, 5.23-24, 6.18 and the Notes 
are new; Chapter 3 has been omitted; and Sections 5.10, 5.18, 5.21-22 (5.17, 5.20- 21 in the 
earlier edition), 6.8, 6.16-17, 6.19 and 6.21 (6.18 and 6.20) have been substantially revised. 
Except for the systematic distinction now drawn between the "afterthought" and "forethought" 
modes of connection, the structure of the language is essentially unchanged. 



March, 1969 


This edition of some several hundred copies is meant to be distributed to several kinds of 
readers: (1) those who have corresponded with me about Loglan over the years since the 
publication of the Scientific American article in 1960; (2) those among the readers of several 
journals who have responded with interest to a recent announcement of the project; and (3) a 
handful of scholars whom vie have expressly invited to examine one feature or another of Loglan 
in advance of publication. Our motives in preparing such a prepublication edition are threefold: 

First Loglan purports to be a logical language. We should like to give logicians an opportunity 
to inform us where, and in what respects, Loglan as it stands is not. Then, in conseguence of the 
revision that will be enabled by their criticism, the published version of the language will have a 
better chance of fulfilling this broad claim. 

Second, this book in particular purports to be a popular introduction to Loglan, meant to engage 
a substantial proportion of its readers in such further study as may lead, in some of them at least, 
to active mastery of the language. Languages, however, are more than commonly complex 
affairs. One does not succeed in writing simply about a complex thing solely by deciding to do 
so. Again, I should like to be told where I have failed. 

Third, interest in Loglan among academics- -once very lively--has all but died. Six years of 
silence after the publication of a set of prolegomena does not fit the temper of the times. I frankly 
hope in this semi- private publication to stir that interest up again. For without academic support 
the publication of the other Loglan manuscripts- -and there are several-is likely to be delayed for 
some time. 

Over the years since the publication of those prolegomena several thousand pages of manuscript 
have been prepared. There are two dictionaries (English-Loglan and Loglan-English, the first 
with 12,000, the second with 3000 entries); there is a programmed textbook eguivalent to about a 
semester of college work; and there is a major portion of a technical treatise on the linguistical 
aspects of the subject in addition to the computer programs and working papers not primarily 
meant for publication. To a serious student of the language none of these books will be worth 
much without the others. 

Moreover all of them have waited for a suitable introduction, which it has been my purpose in 
the present volume to provide. 

Of all the academic interests that bear on Loglan it is the linguistic interest that is least well- 
served by the present book. Linguistical matters-being in the main descriptions of the 
unconscious features of the language act--are far more difficult to deal with popularly than 
logical ones. Everyone knows at least a little about how he thinks; hardly anyone knows anything 
about how he talks. Because this book will, in published form, be addressed primarily to the 
general reader, I have therefore sidestepped linguistic issues wherever I could, planning to treat 

the most important of them in appendices in subsequent editions of the work. 1 This has meant 
ignoring the concerns of the linguist almost entirely in this book, especially as in this preprint 
edition it is virtually stripped of appendices. But the linguist will take some comfort I hope in 
knowing that another volume in this series is addressed exclusively to him.- 

In short, there are two kinds of questions one can ask about Logian. The first is, Is it a language? 
The second is, Is it a logical language? This book deals only with the second question; for it 
takes an affirmative answer to the first for granted. Y et the first contains the germ of a very 
interesting scientific question: Can a language of any kind be built? I hope this brief foreword 
will apprise the scientific reader that I am not unalert to the importance of this question. But it 
turns out that one cannot describe a language attractively to its eventual speakers by dwelling on 
the question of whether they exist. 



March, 1966 

1 The appendices growing out of my correspondence over the First Edition became a second 
book, Loglan 2: Methods ofConststuction originally published on microfilm (Brown (1969a) but 
later published serially in the first and second volumes of The Loglanist, 1976-78. 

2 Loglan 2, but now not quite "exclusively", as aspects of Loglan of interest to computer 
scientists are also discussed in this book. 





1. as in E. 'father' (Anglo- 
German dialects) 


2. asS. 'casa', F. 'la', andE. 



1. before vowels, 'eigh' as in 


2. elsewhere, as in 'met' 

[e] or 


1. before vowels, 'y' as in 'yet' 


2. elsewhere, as 'ee' in 'feet' 


1. before M or/i/, 'aw' as in 


2. elsewhere, as in 'note' 



1. before vowels, W as in 'wee' 


2. elsewhere, as 'oo' in 'boot' 



as 'u' in F. 'plus' and as 'ii' in G . 



as 'u' in 'up' and 'a' in 'about' 




as 'igh' in 'sigh' 



as 'ow' in 'cow' and 'ough' 
in 'bough' 

[ow] or 


as 'ay' in 'day' 

[ay] or 
[ eight- ee] 


as 'oy' in 'boy' 



as in 'boy' 



as 'sh' in 'shy' 



as in 'dog' 



as in 'fog' 



as in 'get' 



as in 'hut' 



as 's' in 'measure' 'z' in 'azure', 
and 'J'inF. 'Jean' 



as in 'kin' 



1. as in 'let' 


2. as in 'bottle' when vocalic 



1. as in 'met' 


2. as in 'rhythm' when vocalic 



1. before /k/ or/g/, as 'ng' in 


2. elsewhere as in 'net' 


3. as 'en' in 'listen' when vocalic 



as in 'pet' 



as 'th' in 'thin' 



1. as in 'rat' 


2. as 'er' in 'father' when vocalic 



as in 'sat' 

[s] or 


as in 'tin' 



as in 'vet' 



as 'ch'inG. 'Bach' 



as in 'zinc' 



At the beginning of Christmas Holidays, 1955, 1 sat down before a bright fire to commence what 
I hoped would be a short paper on the possibility of testing the social psychological implications 
of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. I meant to proceed by showing that the construction of a tiny 
model language, with a grammar borrowed from the rules of modern logic, taught to subjects of 
different nationalities in a laboratory setting under conditions of control, would permit a decisive 
test. I have been writing appendices for that paper ever since. I believed, once or twice, that I had 
glimpsed the end of it; but I cannot yet be certain. 

This book is one of those appendices. It is a first installment on what I think I have seen in the 
intriguing prospect which has opened up for me by working with the Whorf hypothesis. It is also 
an effort to put the structural matter of a not-so-tiny--and still incomplete- artificial language into 
the hands of those who will, if it really is a language, find that out for me by speaking it. 

The book is also faintly impolite. If it were polite, it would have to bow itself out of existence. 
For its humblest thesis is a challenge to the scientific authority of those who believe that human 
languages cannot be constructed. But I tender this challenge with the expectation of the 
imminent arrival of a strong ally. In science, at least, the final judgement of what is and what is 
not impossible belongs to Nature not to man. 

The book is also impolite in what I hope will be found a more agreeable sense in that it makes 
free use for experimental purposes of results which were in the first place purely formal. I allude, 
of course, to the use I have made of the formal inventions of logicians, not all of whom will 
appreciate the lowly forms I have bent them toward in the interests of speakability. Still, I take it 
to be one of the prices of publication that one occasionally finds one's work borrowed for 
unexpected applications. I hope Loglan will not be found so counterindicated by the logical 
fraternity that they will make no similar trespass on my own. 

Among the scholars whose work I have freely borrowed, and on whose insights nearly all that is 
good in Loglan probably depends, I must mention my indebtedness to the late Hans 
Reichenbach. His analysis of token-reflexive words in particular, and of conversational forms in 
general, has become part of the structure of Loglan. I must acknowledge also my profound debt 
to Rudolf Camap, on whom I, like everyone, depend for his conceptions of object language and 
metalanguage, and for his formulation of the concept of the semantical field. Besides, it was 
Carnap's view of the possibility of logical languages in the first place which almost certainly 
shaped my own. From the pragmatist tradition in philosophy I have derived the chief grounding 
of my theory of Loglan semantics, especially from the early, seminal work of Charles Morris on 
the general theory of signs. In particular, I feel that my view of predication and designation, as 
complementary halves of the language act, is as implicit in his work as it is certainly central to 

Finally, among philosophers and logicians I must mention Willard van Ormand Quine. Quine's 
work, more than any other, presented both confirmation and challenge to me. The publication of 
Word and Object in 1960 was an epochal event in the development of Loglan. Page after page 

seemed to have been designed to provoke, counsel and console anyone who would build a 
logical language which was at the same time to be ontologically sound. Most of his insights, 
happily, were confirmatory; others were easily incorporated into what had been the structure of 
Loglan. A few remained linguistically indigestible, but these evoked, by opposition, some of the 
more novel ontological features of the language. Let me mention only one: my treatment of 
indirect discourse as the designation of an event abstraction. This insight, if it is one, was forced 
on me by my inability to render speakable the more intricate ontological solution of Quine. 

Among the older generation of linguists I owe a very special debt to the late Otto Jespersen. It 
was his Analytic Syntax which provided the first testing ground of my thesis that a human 
grammar could be written in the predicate calculus. In a similar way the work of Zellig Harris 
provided me, as everyone, with the descriptive machinery which was to serve as a test of the 
structural completeness of the language. Finally, the design of Loglan phonology owes much to 
the distinctive features analysis of Roman Jakobson. 

Among [later] linguists I owe a guite particular debt to Victor Y ngve, whose formulation of the 
depth hypothesis, and whose conseguent view of the constraints placed on grammar by the 
speech generating process, have informed nearly all my own efforts to make Loglan speakable. I 
owe a similar debt to Noam Chomsky, whose views of the relationship between rules of 
grammar and the grammatical domain provided the theoretical focus of my work on ambiguity. 
Finally, I should mention the practical relevance to Loglan of the work of Anthony G. Oettinger 
and Susumu Kuno on the machine analysis of ambiguity. Unfortunately, the publication of their 
work in 1963 was just too late for Loglan. In September of that year I had completed my own 
search for ambiguity in the language by cruder means and was turning to other things. To have 
done it over again by their more powerful methods would have delayed the publication of the 
language by at least two more years. I decided not to do it. At the time it was my hope that an 
ambiguity analysis of Loglan by their methods would one day be performed. [Loglan grammar 
was in fact finally disambiguated in 1982 by the even more powerful methods of A ho, Johnson 
and Ullman (1975).] 

Everyone who writes on matters semantical in English is beholden to the early work of C. K. 
Ogden and I. A. Richards. Moreover, in the patient inguiries of Ogden and his colleagues into the 
idiom structure of English, I found one of the cornerstones on which to rest the structure of 
primitives in Loglan. In a similar way, Helen Eaton's 1940 list of the most freguently used 
concepts In the four major European languages (excluding Russian) was of inestimable value in 
testing the adeguacy of the Loglan list of primitives for the semantics of those languages. 

No one who works with elements as varied, or lists as long, as those that make up a language can 
afford to work alone. The assistance I reguired in the first five years of my work with Loglan 
was paid for by my paternal connection with a certain board game called Careers; and to my 
publishers, Parkers Brothers of Salem, Mass., and the youngsters who played that game during 
this, and a later, period I and Loglan owe a not inconsiderable debt. But by 1960 not even 
Careers could support our increasingly Augean labors; and I turned to more usual sources of 
academic finance. Much in this connection is owed to the then-editors of the Scientific American. 
Their willingness to publish the prolegomena of Loglan in that year secured that critical degree 

of publicity without which nothing fiscal is possible in our civilization, and with which, perhaps, 
very nearly anything is. 

But it is to the then-reigning board of social science advisers to the U.S. Department of Health, 
Education and Welfare that Loglan owes its most direct financial debt. Without the generous 
assistance provided by the Department through its Institutes of Health (specifically, Mental- 
Grant Number M-4980) neither the dictionary- building nor the computer studies of Loglan could 
have been contemplated. Even after the expiration of that early grant, however, computing time 
was generously made available to me by the computing centers at both the University of Florida 
at Gainesville and Florida State University at Tallahassee through their on- going support by the 
National Science Foundation. To the lenient wisdom of these two national organizations, and to 
the directors and steering committees of these two regional centers, I would like to express my 
sincere appreciation for the opportunity they gave me for dialogue with the machine. For many 
years it was my only informant on matters loglandic, and it is the most articulate speaker of the 
language yet. 

Many human individuals have also worked for and with me on Loglan. The list of those who 
have worked in either formal or informal capacities on the project includes Monte R. Blair, Mrs. 
Patricia Carmony, Mrs. Jean Chalmers, P. H. Coates, Peter Drummond, H. Greisdorf, Ted R. 
Keiser, Mrs. Mary E. Kimmel, Ida Larsen, Catherine A. Loveland, Morgan MacLachlan, P. H. 
Monet, Mrs. Carol S. Morrison, Harrison Murphy, Ardesh Narain, Arthur E. Nudleman, P. 
Sanchez, Mrs. Caroline Smith, Mrs. Margaret Sung, J. Stefnastoti, Mrs. Wilda Szeremi, Mrs. 
Christine S. Tennant, Robert L. Tennant and John W. Warne. I wish also to thank the handful of 
scholars who have read this or earlier drafts of the MS, or who have in other ways lent me their 
professional criticism and advice. Among them are Mr. Julian Granberry, Prof. Thomas A. E. 
Hart, Prof. Charles Morris, Dr. F. Rand Morton, Dr. James Oliver, Mr. Mortimer Shagrin and Dr. 
Benjamin Wyckoff. 

Among those who read the preprint edition of this book were many who found the time to help 
me locate its errors or realize its many opportunities for improvement. I feel especially indebted 
to H. D. Baecker, T. M. Bloomfield, G. Peter Esainko, Eric Martz, Howard Reep, Perry Smith, 
W. A. Verloren van Themaat, Viryl V. Vary, and James F. Wirth for their very extensive 
comment; the book is a good deal better than it would have been without their comments. 

I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the many students who have helped me to 
understand the language by attempting to learn it at various stages of its development, 
particularly as this often involved the peculiar pain of submitting to imperfect teaching programs. 
It is from these cheerful subjects that we have gathered whatever we now know of the phonology 
of the language, as well as whatever insights we now have into how to teach it. 

Finally, I wish above all to acknowledge the ten years' collaboration of my [then] wife, Lujoye 
Fuller Brown, often amounting to coauthorship, and the unstinting labors of Mr. and Mrs. Ted 
Keiser, our colleagues in the Institute, who among many other services to Loglan shouldered in 
our absence the job of publishing and distributing the 1966 edition of this book. 

A word about footnotes. I have banished most technical discussion and all polemics to the notes 
and have collected these at the end of each chapter. My purpose is to permit the non-technical 
reader an untrammeled swing through the book. I trust that the technical reader will not mind 
piecing out the scientific argument behind the various moves I have made by consulting these 
notes. He will find that some of them constitute short essays on a moot point. Some moot points, 
however, reguire longer essays; and these, while occasionally referred to in this book, have been 
reserved for the second volume in this series, Loglan 2. 



March 1969 

Except for its bracketed portions, the foregoing essay was written twenty years ago when the 
Loglan Project was fourteen years old. Now, in 1989, in its thirty- fourth year, Loglan is ready to 
"go public" again for the third and, I trust, final time. 

The first time Loglan left my laboratory was in 1960 with the publication of the Scientific 
American (SA) article "Loglan" in June of that year. That article, as many older readers will 
remember, drew an unprecedentedly voluminous response from the international scientific 
public, and no doubt led to the funding of my early work by The National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) in 1961-62. Being funded permitted me to make the first formal studies of Loglan 
grammar on computers. These were still new to university campuses but marvelously apt for 
grammatical work. The NIH grant also underwrote the first teaching programs and made possible 
the extension of the Loglan vocabulary beyond the first few thousand words. Grammatical work 
was my chief occupation during this period, however, and making the language as 
accommodating of natural forms as it could be made and remain unambiguous was my chief 
goal. These studies lasted through 1964. Their completion led to the first book on the language, 
Loglan: A Logical Language, published in 1966. This book-actually a "preprint edition" through 
which I sought criticism for my methods-later became Loglan 1 . A few years later the first 
dictionaries of the language, Loglan 4 and Loglan 5, were ready for release. These, together with 
the second edition of Loglan 1 and a book on methods of construction, Loglan 2, as well as a 
programmed textbook, Loglan 3, were all published on microfilm in 1969. This body of early 
work was intended mainly for the friends of the project that had been made by the SA article in 

Loglan left my workshop for a second time in 1975. Private funding had made possible a further 
expansion of the dictionaries in 1973-74, and a second edition of Loglan 4 & 5, together with a 
third of Loglan 1 , were published In both hardback and paperback editions in December of that 
year. The response of the scientific and computing communities to the 1975 publications was 
again very gratifying; the first printing of 3,000 copies of Loglan 1 was soon sold out. We could 
have sold many more, and would have done so had we known that we were to continue to 
support ourselves. But The Loglan Institute had just been incorporated as a non-profit research 
institute so as to permit it to receive public grants; and we decided not to reprint. We expected to 
be funded; and by 1977 we were learning, through the active use of the language by the new 
community of loglanists 1 which the 1975 books had brought to life, that the language still 

required some final truing in the engineering laboratory if it were to be as good as it could be as a 
releaser of Whorfian effects. 

Alas, we were not funded. To everyone's surprise the National Science Foundation (NSF) turned 
down the multidisciplinary research proposal which we submitted to it in 1977, one that 
proposed that we prepare the language for, and then conduct an experimental test of the Sapir- 
Whorf hypothesis among second- language learners, a plan that had been subscribed to by a 
group of ten supporting scholars. These had come to us from the full spectrum of related fields: 
logic, linguistics, anthropology, psychology, and computer science; and among them were some 
of the most respected workers in their fields. Y et NSF declined to support this effort.. .primarily, 
we discovered, because Loglan had not pleased the one linguist on its review panel. The other 
reviewers were delighted with our plans to attempt an experimental test of the Who if hypothesis 
and gave our proposal the highest possible marks. But because the Loglan Project was so 
ineluctably interdisciplinary, a work which crossed the boundaries of many fields, we were 
obliged to please all its judges; and in this we failed. 

Clearly it was back to the test- bench whether funded or not. Once discovered, the structural 
defects we were finding in the 1975 language, however minor, obviously had to be repaired 
before I could turn the language over to its ultimate users. So in 1978 The Institute embarked on 
my several engineering projects anyway, knowing that with only individually donated money 
and part-time volunteers to help me, the work would proceed at a much slower pace than I had 
planned. Ten years later I can say with some confidence that we have accomplished everything 
we set out to do and possibly just a bit more. Loglan is now ready to be used: both 
experimentally, in a test of the Whorf hypothesis, and as a machine-man interface by the 
computing world. It may also find its uses as a translation medium for the international 
dissemination of scientific text; but that may still be some years away. 

Old friends of the project will wish to know how the language has changed since 1975. Even 
more urgently, friends from earlier years will want to know whether Loglan turned out to be 
speakable or not, that is, whether it is a human language or just another writable code. The 
answer to the second question is yes. Through an apprenticeship program launched by The 
Loglan Institute in 1977, in which live-in apprentices learned the language directly from me (and 
I from them!), I am happy to report that sustained daily Loglan-only conversations lasting three- 
quarters of an hour or more were achieved with three out of four apprentices within thirty days, 
usually within twenty. For some years I hadn't known whether the object I had created was a 
language or not. But in 1977, 1 learned that it was; it flew. 

As for whether and how much the 1975 language has changed, buyers of the 1975 books will be 
happy to leam that while several peripheral features of Loglan have grown remarkably in the 
past fourteen years, the core of the language has not changed. Having just revised it, I am happy 
to report that nearly all the differences between the 3rd and 4th editions of this book have been 
additive. So nearly everything old readers learned about the 1975 language will still apply. There 
will, however, be much in the fine grain of the current language that the watchful reader will find 
interestingly different, and some that is altogether new. 

The additions made since 1975 have been of three distinct kinds: 

First many new usages have been invented. By a usage I mean an habitual way of using a 
language which people employ in recurrent situations. Thus, 'Good morning! 1 is a usage; so is 
'Fire! 1 In 1975 there were only a few usages, mostly greetings and farewells. The reason was 
simple. Except for one small group of leamer/users--the group that assembled at my Gainesville 
lake house in 1972 (the first "Loglan Sogrun")-the language had not been socially used. Buyers 
of the 1975 books, however, began to use the language in a wide variety of exploratory ways 
including social ones. In 1976 a journal called The Loglanist was established. Here, dozens of 
new words and usages were proposed by these explorers every year, nearly all of them becoming 
part of the language. Unfortunately this process dribbled to a near- halt in 1982. This happened 
primarily because my engineering interventions were temporarily dismantling the language. Still, 
much had been accomplished. Asa conseguence of the inventive ferment of 1976-82, the usage 
patterns of the 1989 language are incomparably richer than those of 1975. 

Second, many additional word-forms have been added to Loglan morphology. (The morphology 
of any language specifies its word-forms and gives the rules by which new words may be added. 
Chapter 2 , Words and Word-Forms, describes the current morphology of Loglan.) The 
morphology of 1975 Loglan was starkly simple; there were only a few sorts of Loglan words, 
and adding a new word meant fitting it into a simple, uniform formula. Charming as this 
simplicity was, however, it had three defects. The first was that the shortest complex words 
looked like simple words; the 1975 morphology could not distinguish them. The second was that 
while longer complex words were always recognizable as such, they could not always be 
deciphered. Finally, the 1975 method of incorporating loan- words was unacceptably 
Procrustean. Perhaps the reader remembers Procrustes? He was the innkeeper of antiguity whose 
beds were all of the same size. When a guest came along who was too long to fit a bed, 
Procrustes chopped him off; when a guest was too short, Procrustes stretched him out. The 1975 
borrowing forms were like that. They did semantic violence to the source words. Indeed, they 
were so Procrustean that a good imitation of a source word was difficult to find. 

After several years of studying the "undecipherable affixes" problem, and testing various trial 
solutions against one another, I settled on a set of regular word-parts (affixes) out of which all 
complex words could be built. This also solved the "false simples" problem since, when made up 
of these standard parts, even the shortest complex word could not imitate a simple one. The parts 
supplied are, of course, routinely decipherable. So loglanists now have a way of introducing new 
complex words into the language that ensures that they will always be identifiable as such and 
also be immediately decipherable. 

As for making borrowing more flexible, Loglan loan-words are now a residual category: a loan is 
whatever is not something else. Loans no longer have to fit any particular formula. They may be 
of any length or shape that does not accidentally imitate some other kind of word, or string of 
words, that may occur legitimately in the language. For example, jxuhni cannot be any other 
kind of word or string of words. Therefore it is a loan-word, and its source is obvious. Neither 
can icjunor baktericrodopGuii, and these are also transparent imitations of their sources. Thus 
Loglan loan-words may now be infinitely varied. So good imitations of the international 
vocabularies of science and travel are easier to achieve. 

Among the minor morphological problems that were also solved was the "packing" problem. 
Some clusters of 1975 words were so closely packed together into the word-space that under 
noisy conditions they could easily be mistaken for one another. (Technically speaking, the 
language was not redundant enough.) "Unpacking" them meant increasing their phonological 
distance from one another. For example, in the old lexicon, kanti meant 'bill' or 'account' while 
kantemeant the 'number' or 'numerical count' of something; and the two words differed only in 
their unstressed vowels. To "unpack" them, kantehas been remade as konte and kanti has been 
retained; but the two concepts now differ in two phonological particulars. They have thus been 
moved farther apart in the word-space. Only slightly more than 100 primitive words have been 
unpacked in this way, but this has substantially increased the redundancy of the 
language.. .something that more than one linguist had warned us we must do. 

A third kind of addition made since 1975 was to the grammar. Loglan grammar is now 
demonstrably unambiguous. The grammar of the 1975 language was not ambiguous in any 
known way, of course; but there were undoubtedly several unknown ways in which it was 
ambiguous since, at the time it was built, no algorithm existed by which syntactic ambiguity in a 
human language could be exhaustively detected. In 1975, however- -which was the same year in 
which our own two books were published--a trio of mathematicians at Bell Laboratories, Alfred 
V. A ho, Stephen C. Johnson, and Jeffrey D. Ullman, announced their discovery (A ho, Johnson 
and Ullman 1975) of a constructive-proof algorithm that was capable of demonstrating that a 
given grammar of a certain formal type-one of interest to computer science for designing 
programming languages-was unambiguous if it happened to be; and if the given grammar was 
ambiguous, then the same algorithm was capable of locating all the sources of ambiguity in it. 
This powerful tool-augmented by some formal constructions of our own for dealing with the 
grammar of a speakable language- enabled us to write an unambiguous grammar for Loglan by 

The "machine grammar" project, as we called it- or sometimes simply "MacGram"-was perhaps 
the most scientifically interesting engineering project of the 1978-88 period. Many of our new 
loglanists were programmers or computer scientists. One of their interests in Loglan, it turned 
out, was that it seemed to them to be a promising candidate for the "interface language" between 
humans and their machines that such workers were then and are apparently still looking for. 
(There is more on this topic in Chapter 1, Sec. 1.5 .) But it was guickly pointed out by these new 
partisans of the project that unless Loglan grammar was demonstrably unambiguous, the 
language would be useless as an interface. Besides, syntactical non-ambiguity had an important 
Whorfian function as well, one that had long been recognized: it would make implausible ideas 
speakable and hence examinable. Since many important ideas are at first sight implausible, a 
grammar that would permit them to be uniguely spoken would be just one more step toward 
liberating the language- bound human mind.. .if, indeed, the human mind is language- bound as 
Whorf and Sapir suggest. Accordingly, it was in the service of both releasing Whorfian effects 
and preparing Loglan for its potential interface function that the Aho-Johnson- Ullman theorem 
was used to stabilize this important property of the language. 

Loglan was first shown to be syntactically unambiguous in February 1982. There is still, of 
course, some ambiguity left in the language, namely the kind by which an old meaning of a word 
may be extended metaphorically to convey a new one. Indeed, there must be exactly this kind of 

metaphorical ambiguity in any language if its lexicon is to grow. But since 1982, every well- 
formed Loglan utterance has had one and only one grammatical interpretation. Moreover, in the 
seven years since 1982, Loglan grammar has been kept demonstrably unambiguous more or less 
continuously, despite a series of significant expansions in its grammatical domain. In short, the 
language has grown. More things are sayable in it than have ever been sayable before. But its 
grammar has stayed unambiguous. The technigues for maintaining unambiguous languages in 
unambiguous states are now well-understood. Therefore there is every reason to believe that 
Loglan will remain unambiguous for as long as we wish it to be. 

Curiously enough, the disambiguation of Loglan grammar has not altered it in any essential way. 
Instead, and true to the general pattern of change through augmentation that has characterized the 
development of the language throughout the last fourteen years, all that has visibly happened to 
the grammar of the language is that a number of new punctuation words and linkage patterns 
have been added. These allow the speaker who wishes to speak intricately and yet clearly to use 
the spoken punctuation marks and linking words of Loglan to maintain the structural clarity of 
even very complex speech. Essentially, this is all that has been added. So the principal learning 
task of the returning loglanist will be to add these new punctuating and linking schemata to the 
kit of old grammatical forms which he or she already knows. 

Beyond these three kinds of structural additions to the language, there has been a considerable 
expansion of the lexicon. Once the principles of making borrowings flexible and complex words 
both recognizable and decipherable had been established, the way was clear to expand the 
lexicon in two guite different directions: one, toward increasing the richness of ordinary speech 
and writing by the spontaneous addition of new complexes, and two, by demonstrating that 
Loglan can incorporate the lexical precision of modem science and technology simply by 
borrowing the already existing international vocabulary of science. 

Summing up, there have been six kinds of growth in Loglan since 1975: (1) The body of tested 
usages has grown from near- zero to a substantial and still-growing list of standard 
communication forms. Some of these amount to the solutions of interesting philosophical 
problems. How does one say 'X is two-legged 1 in a logical language? Once solved, the solutions 
to such problems are available to other speakers at no analytic cost. (I have acknowledged the 
authors of such solutions in the end-of-chapter notes.) (2) All complex predicates are now 
decipherable. So new ones may be added ad libitum in full confidence that one's auditors or 
readers will be able to perceive one's poetic intent. (3) Borrowing has also become flexible, with 
the result that words like icjuand baktmotxkpsiiri may be added to the language virtually at 
will. Indeed, the international vocabularies of science, travel, and gastronomy seem in principle 
to have been already incorporated into Loglan. (5) Loglan utterances are now demonstrably 
unambiguous. This means that the man-machine interface potentialities of Loglan, which have 
always existed in principle, are now ready to be exploited in practice. Finally (6) by using the 
new word-making facilities, the Loglan lexicon is now ready to be expanded into any size we 
wish it to be. 

The scholarly debt I have accumulated since 1969 is smaller than the one I owed in 1969, if only 
because, in the last ten years, the project has moved out of the design phase into the engineering 
phase of human linguistics; and little if anything was known about deliberately building selected 
properties into human languages before we began this work. Our profoundest debt for this period 
of our work is, of course, to Alfred V. A ho, Stephen C. Johnson, and Jeffrey D. Ullman (1975) 
for their discovery of a constructive-proof algorithm fortesting ambiguity in LALR(l)-type 
grammars. We are also indebted to Stephen C. Johnson (1975) for his implementation of this 
algorithm in an automatic parser generator called Y ACC (Y et Another Compiler-Compiler), a 
property of Bell Laboratories. Y ACC was the centerpiece of our own grammar- building tool, 
which we called LYCES (LoglanYaccing & Corpus-Eating System; Brown 1982). 

My debt to my fellow unpaid workers for The Loglan Institute, and to the members of The 
Institute who, through gifts and dues, have funded my occasional research assistants, is both 
collectively incalculable and immense. Given the failure of The Institute to win academic 
funding for our work, I would be at it still were it not for these open purses and helping hands. In 
particular, my warmest thanks go to William E. Dorion, Robert J. Hampton, Michael E. Pigue, 
and Nora Tansky, whose uncommon acts of financial generosity have amounted over the years to 
small grants in aid of research. 

In that same connection, thanks go again to my publisher, Parker Brothers, and to the several 
generations of children who played my game Careers over the past thirty- odd years. The 
Careers-income provided a steady subsidy of Loglan research for as long as Careers stayed on 
the market, as it did from 1956 through 1982. Uncomplainingly, one might say, this most simple- 
minded of my intellectual children has supported its higher-browed but slower-maturing (and 
commercially less sprightly) siblings. 

My thanks also go to the handful of scholars who co- signed with me, or in some other way 
publically supported our 1977 research proposal to the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). 
These include Profs. John R.Atkins, CharlesJ. Barton, JohnB. Carroll, John H. ChalmersJr., 
Carol M. Eastman, William R. Edwards Jr., John M. Jacobsen, John Parks-Clifford, and Willard 
Van Orman Quine, as well as Ms. Elizabeth A. Edwards, Dr. Rudolf W. Meijer, and Mr. Charles 

My thanks as well go to all the helping hands, paid and unpaid, who have worked for me and 
Loglan over the years. I list them here in the rough chronological order of the events in which 
they participated or of the projects on which they worked. (My apologies to those whose names 
I've missed. If told of omissions, I will be pleased to correct them in future printings of this 

Earliest, then, were the members of the Loglan Sogrun which formed in the Spring of 1972: 
Vivian Adkins, James A. Bush, Rush Elkins, J. Michael Gilmer, Tad Hanna, Carolyn Marshall, 
Michael Pigue, Stephen Simmons, Frances Stein and G. Thomas Wells. Together we had the first 
experience of using the language as an instrument of everyday life. 

To the team of four then-young linguists- Donald Albury, Fillmore Clark, James Flege and 
Barbara Smith-who helped me expand the 1969 dictionary into the 1975 one in 1973-74, my 

grateful thanks for a massive job well-done. Also, thanks go to Gustavo Arcia, Hsuan Fuang, 
Drs. V. Gusew and K. Naribaev, and to Luke Yu who, as native speakers of languages other than 
English, consulted with me on the 1975 dictionary project. Also, I want to express my 
indebtedness to Marie Fugate for key- punching the 50,000 cards from which the 1975 dictionary 
was printed, and to Philip Schwartz who helped me program it and put it all on tape. Thanks also 
go to Eugene Garelick, Tad Hanna, and Carolyn Marshall for their work in correcting the 1969 
dictionary and readying it for the 1973-74 editorial team. 

My special thanks go to my four apprentices of the period 1977-78. These four not only helped 
me make the to me epochal discovery that Loglan was speakable, but helped me understand its 
problems. They were Robert K. J enner, Patrick Mears, Scott W. Layson, and John Parks- 
Clifford. It was with these speakers that the first sustained Loglan-only dialogue was 

Thanks as well as admiration for the job he did go yet again to John Parks- Clifford, who served 
as Editor of The Loglanist from 1976 through 1983; pc, as he was known, served also as the 
guide and counselor of the throng of explorers whose reports filled its pages. Somehow he found 
the time in a busy teaching schedule to marshal, order, and periodically adjudicate the results of 
their often boisterous efforts. 

I am of course also grateful to the explorers themselves, the contributors to The Loglanist during 
the Years of Invention (1976-81): John R. Atkins, Charles J. Barton, Samuel Bassett, C. R. 
Berman Jr., David M. Bowen, Douglas Brown, Jeffrey R. Brown, James F. Carter, John H. 
Chalmers Jr., David Chapman, Stephen Chapman, Robert J. Chassell, Martin Clay, Thomas A. 
Crispen, Richard C. Darwin, Daniel Dassew, Robert D. Davidson, Paul Dickson, Christopher 
Dollin, Colin Fine, Jerome Frazee, William Freiday, Asha Goldberg, Henry A. Grady Jr., Donald 
Graham, Douglas Hainline, Dean Hickerson, Charles Hixson, G. Huyck, Robert K. J enner, 
James Jennings, Ronald W.Johnson, Mel E. Kanner, Richard Kennaway, Thomas Kent, George 
Kirk, Andrew Koenig, David Kreig, Mathew A. Kupstas, Douglas Landauer, Neil Langley, Ida 
M. Larsen, Scott W. Layson, Robert Levin, Eric Leventhal, Sheldon Linker, Douglas Loss, 
Anthony S. Lovatt, Bruce J. MacLennan, Klim Maling, Rex F. May, Robert A. Mclvor, William 
Mengarini, Rudolf W. Meijer, MarkMickelson, David Milton, Richard Morin, Malcolm 
Mumme, Michael Oliver, Ross R. W. Parlette, David Piatt, Jeffrey S. Prothero, Arthur Protin Jr., 
Keith Ramsay, Richard Rosenberger, John Schilke, James R. Spriggs, Guy L. Steele Jr., Nora 
Tansky, Rick Thomas, David Tomlin, R. W. Toy, Marianne Turlington, A. R. Walker, Birrell 
Walsh, Robert L. Williamson, Steve Witham and Keith Wright. In one way or another nearly all 
their contributions have become part of the language. 

I wish also to thank my co-workers on the MacGram Project (1977-82): Scott W. Layson, who 
helped me finish it, Douglas Landauer, who helped test the early grammars, Sheldon Linker, who 
got us started, Robert A Mclvor, who served as tool-maker, and Jeffrey S. Prothero, who labored 
through the middle watches. An allied project was the task of writing up, and coming to 
understand, our results. In this we were ably helped by David S. Cortesi, Christopher C. Handley 
and Richard Kennaway. 

I wish to acknowledge here the expert assistance I received throughout the morphological 
engineering project of 1978-83--once called the Great Morphological Revolution, or GMR--from 
Robert A . Mclvor again. In the course of his long association with The Institute RAM has 
worked on nearly all its projects. None of them would be so far advanced without him. 

A large contribution was also made to the G MR project by the many loglanists who served as 
subjects in its numerous "taste tests". There are too many of these volunteer subjects to list here. 
But what we know about the morphophonemics of Loglan we largely learned from them. 

In 1983 a test of the new morphology was undertaken that involved making several thousand 
new Loglan metaphors, and that project is still going on. We called it the Eaton Interface after 
the name of the scholar (Helen S. Eaton) whose (1940) work we used to guide it. I wish to 
acknowledge the contribution of these Eaton workers to the new lexicon, and especially that of 
their indefatigable chairperson, Faith Rich. At various times her fellow workers on the interface 
have been: Charles J. Barton, Thomas Birchmire, David M. Bowen, Jennifer F. Brown, Kieran 
Carroll, James F. Carter, Kenneth Dickey, Colin Fine, Jerome Frazee, William Gustafson, 
Ronald W. Johnson, Richard Kennaway, Robert A. Mclvor, Michael E. Parish, John Parks- 
Clifford, Michael E. Pigue, Edward Prentice, Nora Tansky, Jeffrey L. Taylor and Birrell Walsh. 

I wish also to acknowledge the creative efforts of those who, at various times, have written 
computer software forThe Institute: Glen B. Haydon, Mel E. Kanner, Richard Kennaway, Scott 
W. Layson, and Robert A. Mclvor. 

In recent years a number of experts have served as judges on our Science Words Project (1985- 
88): Dr. Soni Anderson Barker, Kieran Carroll, William Greenhood, Dr. Glen B. Haydon, Dr. 
Robert A. Mclvor and Lawrence Proksch. Not experts in science but in Loglan morphology, 
Jennifer F. Brown, Paloma Ibanez and Faith Rich have joined them in this work. I thank them all 
for sharing their insights into the borrowing process with me. 

From its inauguration in 1980 until the present, The Institute's newsletter, Lognet, has had a 
guartet of editors or editor-pairs: Edward and Julia Prentice, Robert J. Chassell, John Lees, and 
Michael E. Parish. The Loglan community is in their debt for yet another unpaid service. 

At another level of service, I wish to acknowledge the gifts of time, concern, wisdom and, above 
all, patience that those who have served as officers, directors and/or trustees of The Loglan 
Institute have, in various mixes, bestowed on me and it through the years: Jennifer F. Brown, 
Jean M. Chalmers, Robert J. Chassell, Herschel Elliott, William Greenhood, Glen B. Haydon, 
Ted and Joy Keiser, Ida M. Larsen, John Lees, Robert A. Mclvor, John Parks-Clifford, Nora 
Tansky, and Larry G . Turner. 

To The Institute's procession of secretary/typists over the past fourteen years, who include 
Barbara Ghosn, Elissa Goforth, Cindi Hardesty, Mary Landauer, Donna Kiefel, Barbara Scanlan, 
and A dele Sheets, I wish to express my appreciation for the intelligence and skill that each has 
brought to this typographically demanding project. 

I wish also to express my deep gratitude to the many scholarly readers who took time out of busy 
lives to read one or more chapters of this Fourth Edition in manuscript. The expert advice I've 
received from this multidisciplinary panel of readers-coming as they do from linguistics, 
medicine, psycholinguistics, anthropolology, philosophy, chemistry, computer science and the 
international language movement-has not only helped me find the errors in this 
multidisciplinary work, but also to see the work as a whole in an interdisciplinary perspective. 
These readers were Prof. John R. Atkins (anthropology), Prof. John B. Carroll (Whorf's editor 
and a psycholinguist), Prof. Carol M. Eastman (linguistics), Dr. William R. Edwards Jr. 
(computer science), Prof. Herschel Elliott (logic and philosophy), Dr. Glen B Haydon 
(medicine), Mr. Mel E. Kanner (computer science), Dr. Robert A. Mclvor (chemistry), Mrs. 
Faith Rich (international languages), Prof. P. David Seaman (linguistics), and Dr. Guy L. Steele 
Jr. (computer science). I wish also to thank At. Elizabeth Alexander James, a professional writer, 
for her very useful comments on problems of style in a work of this sort. Ms. James has come to 
represent for me that most courageous of all readers, the general one. 

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the special contribution made by my two research assistants of 
the last few years, Paloma Ibanez and my daughter, Jennifer Fuller Brown. Both have brought 
uncommon deftness to everything they touched. I wish also to acknowledge the wide-ranging 
contributions of my wife, Dr. Evelyn R. Anderson. She has not only served as the on- board critic 
of my writing and helped push the production of the book through its many stages, she has also 
been the principal preparer of the input for our new teaching programs. Once again I am obliged 
to Dr. Robert A. Mclvor, this time in his role as Loglan's Chief Grammarian, for standing by to 
help me solve the many grammatical problems that have arisen during this last year of our work 

Loglan has indeed become a work of many hands. 

J. C.B.Gainesville 
March 1989 

1 In my English idiolect, as in Loglan and French, words like 'loglanist 1 , 'loglandic' and 
'loglandical' are general terms like 'cat' and 'dog' (i.e., common nouns or adjectives) and therefore 
uncapitalized, whereas words like 'Loglan' and 'Loglandia' are singular terms (words with single 
designata, like John' or 'Greenland') and therefore capitalized. Both Loglan and French are more 
fastidious about such logical matters than Standard English is. 

C hapter I 

1.1 The Scientific Strategy 

Loglan is a language which was originally devised to test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that the 
structure of language determines the boundaries of human thought. An important implication of 
this hypothesis is that the widely differing structures of individual human languages must 
therefore set very different formal limits on the historical potentials of the various human 
cultures that are, in a sense, contained in them. Glimpses of these limits were seen in the data of 
comparative linguistics by Edward Sapir in the 1920's, and a hypothesis which explained their 
structural origin was proposed by Benjamin Lee Whorf in the 1930's. 1 By the early 1950's, the 
marry detailed implicatioris of their theory of linguistic relativity had begun to occupy the 
attention not only of other linguists,- but of psychologists and sociologists as well. 

During the 1950's a good deal of cross-cultural experirnental work was done on the 
psychological fringes of the hypothesis, and while many of the results were corroborative, not all 
of them were, and of course none were decisive.- The Whorf ian phenomenon, if indeed it 
existed, was apparently so deeply imbedded in the reaUty-shaping mechanisms of both language 
and culture that there seemed to be no wayof disengagir^itforadedsivetest Whatwas 
wanted, if this important idea was not gradually to be surrendered as essentially untestable, was a 
device capable of separating the presumed linguistic cause from the predicted cultural effect But 
in nature such uncoixtarriinated devices do not exist 

Work on Loglan began in 1955. As a sociologist with a background in both social psychology 
and philosophy, my own interest in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis centered around the symbolic 
iriechanisms--the logics, metaphysics and epistemics--by which human individuals contrive both 
their sdf-images and their world- views. An important theory of the symbolic process as it 
eventuates in selves and world- views had been proposed by the American philosopher George 
Herbert Mead ( 1934); but Mead's work was uninformed by comparative linguistics. Clearly if 
these symbolic mechanisms differed among languages as much as Sapir and Whorf thought they 
did, then the worlds and selves of persons living in different cultures ought also to differ 

But these matters differ systematically anyway, and which difference is due to what cause is 
nearly impossible to say. For it is nearly impossible to distinguish observationally between the 
stmctural effects of the primary language spoken by a people and the cxoitent of tfe 
which and within which they speak it Bilingualism offers some opportunity for disentangling 
these effects. But true talinguals are rare; their cultural biographies are usually wonderfully 
idiosyncratic and hence incomparable and there is a disconcerting sense in which the bilingual 
has escaped the Whorfian prairament anyway. To unravel the purely linguistic effects of given 

languages on human thinking from the effects of the general cultural milieux in which thinking 
takes place seemed, therefore, to reguire an experimental approach. In particular, it seemed to 
reguire the deliberate introduction of a reasonably culture- free second language with known 
formal properties into a laboratory-like setting in which its effects on the behavior we call 
thinking could be precisely gauged. 

But how does one import anything as massive as a human language into the laboratory? Well, 
how does one experiment with lightning? The first thing you do is reduce its scale. Y ou try to 
reduce this magnificent natural phenomenon to a manageable spark. 

But could the size of a human language be significantly reduced without destroying its essential 
character? Most of the linguists I read and talked to thought not; but one could not know the 
answer to this important guestion beforehand. All one could do was try. Then, if the contrived 
phenomenon, the manageable linguistic spark, behaved in every relevant way like a human 
language- that is, if people could actually speak it, think in it, generate and transform ideas in it- 
it was just possible that its manipulation under conditions of control would permit us to make 
certain limited inferences about the natural phenomenon itself. In particular, not only the Sapir- 
Whorf hypothesis, but many other guestions about the three-way interaction between languages, 
cultures, and human mental processes seemed amenable to this kind of small-scale, linguistical 

In 1955 there was no experimental linguistics. But the then very rapid development of theoretical 
and mathematical linguistics seemed to be transcending the earlier descriptive stage of that 
science, and hence to offer clear if tentative guidelines for the instruction of just such a culture- 
free language as my strategy required. A number of essential features of linguistic structure had 
recently come to light, or were strongly suspected; the major components of the language 
mechanism had been identified; and except for the semantic levels of linguistic stmcture--then 
defying exact analysis as they still ar#-the interactions between the lower levels of the rule 
structure were rapidly being reduced to exact, mathematical descriptions. Guided by these 
descriptions it should be possible, it seemed to me, to construct a system which, while distinctly 
smaller than a human language, bore all those otherfeatures of the natural objects which were 
then thought to be essential. 

But if the constructed language were to serve as a laboratory instrument-something to "release", 
as it were, or at least increase the probability of observing, Whorfian effects-it would obviously 
not do to imitate any natural language or group of languages too closely. What was wanted, apart 
from smallness, was not a typical human language, but a severely atypical one. For if the 
Whorfian effects of second-language^ learning turned out to be elusive-and compared to those 
of primary language learning, which we had decided were impossible to isolate, we could 
certainly expect them to be minor-they would probably not be revealed in a single culture in a 
single try. In fact, we could probably expect the complete pattern of any given second language's 
Whorfian effects to emerge only against the background of many primary cultures, and perhaps 
only then after many tries. Thus a language constructed to release measurable Whorfian effects 
when learned as a second language should offer fairly large structural contrasts with all the first 
languages that might be involved. Since any natural language might eventually be involved, what 
was required was a diminutive but nevertheless genuine human language which was easily 

learned by adults and which differed from all natural languages in some scientifically interesting 
way. In short, some decisive and probably functional difference between the constructed 
language and at least a wide range of natural languages would have to be found. 

The most promising way to create such a difference, it seemed to me, was to exaggerate some 
natural function of human language, that is, to increase the functional adeguacy of some complex 
of linguistic structures in a way that would have a strong independent likelihood of enhancing 
the measurable performance of its learners on some specified set of tasks. Besides, in its original 
formulation the Whorf hypothesis is a negative one: language limits thought.- One way of 
disclosing such phenomena is to take the suspected limits off, more precisely, to push them 
outward in some direction in which removing limits would have predictable effects. So it was 
settled The diminutive language should also be a functionally extreme one in some known or 
presumable way: an extremely poetic one, say, or an extremely efficient one, or extremely 

Now there is very little scientific knowledge about the literary functions of language, and while a 
lot is known about efficient codes, it is hard, to relate this property to Whorf ran effects. 
Enhancing and clarifying the logical structures of the diminutive language, however, seemed to 
answer all the requirements of the project There is a very considerable body of knowledge about 
the formal properties of logical systems; and a hyperiogical linguistic structure should have a 
clear and interesting Whorf ian effect if it had any : namely the facilitation of certain identifiable 
kinds of thought Not only that, but a language which only faintly promised such a mind- 
enhancing effect would almost certainly prove attractive to a large body of potential learners, 
namely students. Thus the idea of Loglan as a hyperiogical or thought-facilitating language had a 
very natural birth. 

Orrather, rebirth. For the dream of a logical language is, of course, a very old least as old 
as Leibniz and probably much older. Some efforts had indeed been made in the pre- scientific era 
of language study to construct such a language. - But like nearly all such early essays in 
language-building~coming, as they did, before the huge, unconscious mass of the language 
structure was known, or even suspected~these efforts too had failed Then too in 1955 the 
philosophical as well as the linguistic stage seemed to be set for taking up this age-old human 
project once again. Logicians had made great strides in the analysis of a wide variety of scientific 
and mathematical forms of thought,- and at least one school of analytic philosophers, the so- 
called "ordinary language" school, had made the analysis of conversational forms the focus of a 
very considerable philosophic effort— Thus the art as well as the science of language analysis 
had, in the preceding decades, developed in a way that seemed to lead quite naturally to the 
resumption of the logical language project 

1.2 Loglan as a Logical Language 

The name 'Loglan' was derived before the language itself was built, from the two English words 
'logical' and 'language'. But the claim invested in this metaphor is in fact narrower than the wide 
word 'logical' suggests. Loglan is logical only in the sense of purporting to facilitate certain 
limited kinds of thought: namely those kinds which proceed by the transformation of sentences 
into other sentences in such a way that if the first are true so also are the second. We might also 

expect it to minimize, or help prevent the errors that are usually made in performing such 
deductive operations. But these are fairly modest senses of the word 'logical 1 . We might have 
meant to convey by it the much stronger claim that Loglan is a deductive system, in the sense 
that geometry and formal logic are. To support such a claim we would have had to show that 
Loglan had a set of elementary notions and elementary operations from which all its complex 
notions and complex operations had been rigorously derived. But we do not make this claim. 
Derivation in Loglan, as in the natural tongues, is by metaphor, not by formal definition. In fact 
we take the familiar mechanism by which new meanings are spontaneously created by a speaker 
or writer combining old words in new ways to be one of the essential properties of human 
language, and hence one which we must not remove if Loglan is to be a veridical member of its 
genus. For surely one of the most striking behavioral distinctions between using a language and 
using a deductive system is that the speaker of a language is at liberty to extend its semantic field 
by instant metaphor in any direction that he chooses. This is a move that is denied the geometer 
and the logician, as they well know. The users of deductive systems must introduce new terms by 
formal definition or not at all. Clearly, Loglan could not be logical in this or any other sense 
which deprived its speakers of the essential moves of speech. 

There are other senses of the English word 'logical' in which Loglan isn't. It is not, for example, 
wholly consistent; nor could it be and remain optimally logical in the transformational sense 
implied. Loglan is more consistent than most languages. But though it is a small language, it is a 
large system; and large systems, like large minds, tend to be intolerant of consistency. Neither is 
it "reasonable" nor "self-evident." Like the meanings of the simplest words in all spoken tongues, 
the basic meanings of Loglan are essentially arbitrary. Learning them must be undertaken in the 
spirit of boundless innocence with which one approaches any foreign tongue. Y et the reader will 
find, I think, that the narrow transformational mode in which Loglan is logical is, in the end, a 
very rich one, and one that richly distinguishes it from all the natural tongues with which he may 
be familiar. For the selection pressure on the evolution of all surviving languages has almost 
undoubtedly been greatest in the nursery and the marketplace, not the study, and certainly not in 
that all-too-recent habitat of some of them, the scientific laboratory. So in selecting these 
relatively new functions of language for optimization-new, that is, in the long time- scale of 
language evolution- we have perhaps overstepped the bounds of nature. Y et it is precisely this 
that we intend. For by making Loglan an extreme instance of the genus Language- by extending 
it along a single dimension of language structure as far as it would go and still be speakable-we 
have given ourselves a far better chance of observing the Whorfian phenomenon than if we had 
contented ourselves with a culture- free imitation of some average human tongue. 

So let us be clear about our scientific strategy. By making Loglan hyperlogical we have intended 
to maximize, or at least greatly increase, the probability of observing the Whorfian effect. We are 
in pursuit of a simple existential: Does the phenomenon exist? Then, if it does exist, there are 
many more subtle things we might wish to do with it, or about it. 

Building these logical structures into Loglan has been less demanding linguistically than most 
linguists I have talked to have supposed. The list of transformation structures I have taken to be 
necessary, if perhaps not guite sufficient, for these purposes is a short one. It includes speakable 
provisions for (i) the propositional calculus, including the unigue determination of connective 
scope; (ii) the apparatus of guantification theory, including a clear distinction between bound and 

unbound variables; (iii) clear distinctions between all known modes of designation and 
description; and last and most tellingly, perhaps, (iv) a word- classification scheme that (a) 
allows all claims to be expressed in the predicate calculus and (b) treats all predicates 
indiscriminately except as they are distinguished by the number of their places. This means that 
Loglan has no nouns, verbs, adverbs or adjectives in any ordinary sense, but only predicates and 
multi-place ones as reguired. Now this, among all the ploys adopted by logicians, is perhaps the 
most far-reaching in its implications for language structure. I suspect it will turn out also to be 
the most troubling, and yet ultimately the most freeing, feature of Loglan grammar for the 
English-thinking mind. It is also what makes Loglan processable by machines. 

The logically-trained reader will have observed that this list of essential transformation structures 
is not only a short one, but far less ambitious than it might have been. There is no notational 
provision in Loglan, for example, for a theory of types.. .or for any other scheme for removing 
the paradoxes to which the absence of a hierarchical notation guickly leads. Moreover, the 
notational provisions for a class calculus are rudimentary. So Loglan in its present form is less 
than an ideal vehicle for "speaking symbolic logic." Perhaps it could have been made to 
approach that ideal more closely; I do not know. Perhaps it will in time be brought closer to that 
ideal by the inventions of its users. But the maximization of Loglan's logicality, in my view, has 
not been nearly as important in the early days of the language as the retention of the essential 
ways of speech. By providing this elementary logical machinery in a form which, because it is 
speakable, may be directly accessible to the human mind, I have hoped to show that some 
behavioral conseguences of a thought- facilitating kind ensue. Certainly the effect produced will 
not be the greatest that could in principle be achieved, if Whorf is right, by a language that was 
even more hyperiogical than Loglan. But these simple transformation structures may be enough 
to cast the Whorfian links between linguistic structure and the mental life into clear relief. And 
that is certainly enough for a first step. 

1.3 Loglan as a Laboratory Instrument 

Apart from the thought- facilitating functions of Loglan, the language is also meant to be a 
manageable laboratory instrument: teachable, measurable, controllable; its structure transparently 
observable both at the moment of introduction into any experiment and in continuous change. 
Loglan has a number of properties which bear on this complex instrumental function, but chief 
among them is the matter of scale. 

Did we succeed in making Loglan small enough to be "a manageable linguistic spark?" I confess 
I do not yet know the answer to this guestion...even after thirty years. But Loglan does seem to 
be easily learned,— and on every formal parameter it is agreeably small. The number of its 
grammar rules is an order of magnitude less than has come to be expected of natural granxmars 
from recent work. Fewer than 200 two- to five-term rules are required to define its domain of 
permissible utterances; and this contrasts very favorably with the three- to six-thousand rule 
partial grammars that have been written in macMne-translation work with languages like English 
and German.— Moreover, the number of its elementary predicates is small: 800-odd as compared 
to an uncountably larger number for English, although perhaps not so small as Chinese, which is 
said to Construct its complex predicates from an even smaller list of radicals. The number of 
structure words in Loglan is also reasonably small: about 120 monosyllabic morphs and their 

compounds suffice for all the grammatical and logical work of the language. The number of 
"lexemes" or word classes is about half of what is expected in a natural language: less than 70 as 
compared with 133 in an early grammar of English.— Its phonology is also at the small end of 
the human range: 27 phonemes as compared to the 45 found by a conservative count in English. 
So on comparative grounds Loglan Would seem to be manageably small. While the size of a 
language is not the only factor that detennines the speed with which it is learned, it is 
undoubtedly an important one; and all my early teaching trials have suggested that Loglan is 
indeed very rapidly learned. 

Another feature of the language that reflects its intended use as a laboratory instiument is its 
cultural neutrality. Partly this has been achieved by what we have come to call its "metaphysical 
parsimony," or the fact that its grammar presupposes a reasorably small set of assumptions about 
the world perhaps the smallest possible set, on our present urderstanding of language structure. 
This feature also supports the thought-facilitating functions of the language in some obvious, and 
in some not so obvious, ways. But its original purpose was to guarantee the metaphysical- 
neutrality of the language for speakers of widely different native tongues. Thus any speaker, 
from any culture, should find it possible to regularly express in Loglan what he takes for granted 
about the world; and he will be able to do this without imposing-or what is perhaps more to the 
point, without being able to impose-these assumptions on his auditor. Thus, Loglan has many 
optional grammatical arrangements, but very few obligatory ones. There is no obligatory tense 
system, for example, as there is in English, nor is there an obligatory gender system as there is in 
most European tongues, nor is there an obligatory epistemic inflection of the verb as in Hopi. But 
both tense and epistemic operations exist as optional "inflections" of the Loglan "verb." 

Still another element of Loglan's cultural neutrality reflects its intended use in cross-cultural 
experiments and possibly also as a medium of international translation. To this end I have tried 
to make the sounds of the basic words of the language eguitably familiar to persons of very 
different language backgrounds. Its sounds and word-roots, for example, have been drawn with 
strict impartiality from the eight most widely spoken tongues. Of these eight, three are Oriental: 
Hindi, Japanese and the Mandarin dialect of Chinese. The other five are more likely to be 
familiar to readers of this book: English, Spanish, Russian, French and German. In this 
phonological sense Loglan is ready to be used as a "world language,-" speakers of these eight 
languages comprise well over three- guarters of the present population of the earth. What is more 
germane, native speakers of any of these eight source languages will be able to hear many clues 
to meaning in Loglan speech. So cross-cultural comparisons of the results of learning Loglan as a 
second language will be possible across a broad range of native languages. 

To maximize the total amount of phonological familiarity to be found in Loglan reguired that we 
use a composite system of vocabulary derivation for its "primitive" words. (By 'primitive 1 1 mean 
words which are used within a language to derive its complex terms and are not themselves 
internally derived.—) For example, the Loglan word for 'blue' isblanu. And blanu is derived 
partly from Chinese 'Ian 1 , partly from English 'blue', French 'bleu' and German 'blau', and more 
remotely from Hindi 'nila', Spanish 'azul' and Russian 'galuboi'. Only Japanese, among the eight 
source languages, has no phonetic affinities with this particular Loglan word. Not all words 
incorporate so much familiarity, of course. But our word- building procedures have roughly 
maximized the total amount of it to be found in the language.— 

A fourth instrumental property of Loglan bears on a functional relationship between languages 
that I hesitatingly call accommodation. We want the language to be small; yet we also want it to 
be very large. We want it to be large in the specific semantic sense of accommodating all that we 
might wish to say in it, either in response to urgencies developed within the language or because 
of those prior semantic urgencies that originate in the fact that we already speak other languages. 
We want, in short, to be able to speak Loglan not only like a Loglander, but also like a 
Trobriander or an Englishman, a Frenchman or a Chinese. This is a large order, and I am 
perfectly certain that I have not satisfied it. Y et the very effort to satisfy such a grand criterion 
has proved rewarding. More than any other functional property of the language, the installation 
of this one, even incompletely, has involved years of work. And the work is incomplete. It is on 
this point more than any other that I expect to be informed by the publication of even a fourth 
edition of this volume of the extent to which the grammar of Loglan does not permit the 
expression of meanings to which its speakers find themselves driven... whether, as I say, because 
of impulses generated within the language or from semantical needs coming from outside. 

Y et the remarkable fact is that a very large amount of accommodation has already been built into 
the language without expanding its grammatical structure to those massive proportions to which 
linguists have accustomed us with their studies of natural grammars. One way of putting this is 
that the domain of permissible Loglan sentences is very large.. .so large, in fact, that English, say- 
-or rather that subset of Loglan sentences which can be put into one-one, or more likely, many- 
one semantic correspondence with English sentences (for English is ambiguous)--fits into a very 
small corner of it. Y et the rules that define that vast domain are not numerous; not nearly as 
numerous as the rules of English are. If I am right in this observation- -and of course I may not 
be, for Loglan may not turn out to accommodate the semantical field of English nearly as well as 
I think it does- -then the possibility exists that for some important reason the grammars of the 
natural languages are far larger than they need to be. Far larger, for example, than is 
grammatically reguired to express the semantical field which they in fact engage.— 

The last formal property of Loglan I wish to mention is its freedom from syntactic ambiguity. I 
originally conceived, this property as an obvious essential for a maximally transf ormable 
tongue...obvious / because tiansformations proceed in one direction from one interpretation of an 
ambiguous sentence, and often in a guite different direction from another. Moreover, we manage 
to steer around the very considerable ambiguity of the natural tongues by entertaining only the 
most plausible interpretations of the sentences we hear. Consequently most natural thinking 
follows plausibility routes. But this is unfortunate. One wants to be able to think implausibly and 
yet clearly; for many important arguments have absurd conclusions. Unfortunately it is quite 
difficult to think nonsensically in an ambiguous language. Whence comes not only the logician's 
enforcement of all rules of clarity but also his strange love of nonsense, a love which more 
"natural" minds feel verges on the, for example, inthejabberwocky world of Lewis 
Carroll. 11 

Loglan's freedom from ambiguity has one surprising and possibly dysfunctional correlate. It was 
once feared that the helpless clarity of its sentences night prove a chilling feature of the 
language to its poets. One literary scholar (William Empson 1930) had shown that English poets, 
anyway, appear to use the rich fund of syntactic ambiguity in that language for pc>etic purposes. 
Thus if an English poet can contrive a line that says forty things, and each of these forty things 

suits her poetic purpose in some way, then she has accomplished at one stroke what a more 
humdrum writer might take yards to say. And then not say it. So grammatical clarity may 
therefore unfit Loglan for poetry just as it fits it for thoughtful discourse. Y et nonsense, too, 
furnishes literary delight; and an unambiguous language makes absurdities clearly sayable. In 
addition, for a basic structural reason we have not discussed yet, metaphor- making in Loglan is 
remarkably facile. The net result of these pluses and minuses on the Loglandic poetic act is not 
known yet. We have had some poets, but not enough yet. Again, as scientists, we have an 
interesting set of possible outcomes to observe.— 

In sum, and as far as its intentional properties are concerned, Loglan is (1) formally small, almost 
certainly smaller than any natural language; (2) transformation-facilitating, and in that sense 
logical; (3) maximally recognizable over a very broad population base, and in that sense 
impartial; (4) metaphysically parsimonious and hence culturally neutral; (5) largely but probably 
still imperfectly accoinmodating of at least some natural tongues; and (6) syntactically 
unambiguous. What all this may mean in the laboratory is, as yet, anybody's guess. But my own 
sense is that we have, for the first time, a srriall-scale model of a human language that iriay be 
worth experimenting with 

1.4 Loglan in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory 

The kind of laboratory for which Loglan was originally designed is the social psychological 
laboratory. What social psychologists normally investigate experimentally are the effects on 
individual psychology, including thinking, of social experiences, often contrived ones. How 
Loglan might be used in such a setting to study the Whorfian effects, if any, of second- language 
learning, is a complex matter that deserves and gets a separate chapter in this book, namely 
Chapter 7 . But there are now other kinds of scientific laboratories in which Loglan might prove 
useful. One of them is the artificial intelligence laboratory. Let us consider briefly how Loglan 
might be used there. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) workers have applied computer- modeling technigues to a broad range 
of intelligent performances, i.e., those that apparently involve a considerable amount of internal 
processing before some relatively simple but highly flexible output is produced.. .for example, a 
chess move. These phenomena now include the diagnosis of diseases, the generation and proving 
of logic theorems, the playing of games like chess and backgammon, and some apparently 
automatic behaviors which, like human pattern- recognition, also appear to involve intelligent 
processes. We may expect in time that the A I technigue will be applied to itself, i.e., to that 
intelligent process of which the output is a computer program; see Section 1.5 on the machine- 
man interface below. 

In all AI studies the principal tool is a computer program. The investigator's goal is to write a 
program that will cause a computer to produce outputs-medical diagnoses, moves in chess, 
proofs of theorems, discovered patterns- that imitate with reasonable fidelity the performances of 
some intelligent organism given the same inputs, usually man. The most commonly accepted 
rules of A I research are (1) that the inputs given the computer be strict analogs of the inputs 
received by the performing organism, insofar as this is known, and (2) that the outputs produced 
by the computer be strictly comparable with, or even as good as or better than, the organismic 

performances. What goes on between input and output is up to the investigator. To produce its 
imitative outputs the program may or may not be provided with a model that imitates some 
suspected natural process or tests some theory. In any case, it is by altering the program, and by 
observing the conseguences of each alteration on the computer's output that the AI investigator 
slowly improves the match between its output and whatever is known about the living organism's 
range of responses. Just as similar computer models are now being used to study weather 
systems, galactic evolution, plate tectonics, and other complex natural processes that are also 
difficult or impossible to observe directly, so A I models are being used to study intelligent 
processes. The aim, of course, is ultimately to understand ourselves. 

Loglan could contribute to that understanding. Being a fully described and demonstrably 
speakable human language, Loglan can provide AI investigators with at least the beginning of a 
model of how human speech generation and understanding works. Loglan grammar is not only 
known but already written in a machine- parsable code. So it is itself the beginning of an A I 
program. Also, like all formal grammars, the current machine grammar of Loglan is infinitely 
malleable: its rules can be rewritten in an unlimited number of ways that will still parse the same 
sentences. So a wide variety of hypotheses about how human speech is internally generated can 
be tested by a grammatical model simply by altering its rule structures in systematic ways. Such 
alterations could continue until clues about what improved the model's fit with human speech 
began to emerge. 

We do not yet have recorded output from fluent Loglan speakers to supply AI laboratories.— 
Besides, it is likely that AI workers interested in testing detailed models of the speech generation 
process will prefer experimentally induced bodies of verbal output to the records of spontaneous 
speech that we have collected for linguists. But in the next few years a generation of truly fluent 
speakers of Loglan is very likely to emerge. Enlisting some of them as subjects, evoking speech 
from them under controlled drcumstances and measuring the physical parameters of that speech 
-the pace and pattern of its hesitations, the locations of its blurts and pauses, its variations in tone 
and rate, and, as controls, the measured response strengths of the various individual words in 
their vocabularies-could easily provide a human standard against which the infinitely 
manipulable AI output could then be modeled. 

Why could not such an investigation be conducted now with natural speech? Because the first 
complete grammar of a natural language has yet to be written. If we are interested in matching 
human speech in any language with the output of a cornputermodd, that modd must contain not 
only some analog of the human speech generator itself, but also an analog of the particular 
language in which the speech is occurring, i.e., a grammar of that language. If the grammar we 
install in the speechgenerating program is incomplete, then the modd will be incomplete; it 
cannot be expected to account for the full range of speech productions in thd language. Human 
speech is essentially spontaneous. To constrain it, say to some subset of a language like English 
for which one thought one had a partial grammar, would be to turn it into something dse, 
something that was not speech Besides, if the partid grammars now in hand are any indication, 
when a complete grammar of a natural human language is findly written, it wUl be far too large 
for programmatic marapulation in the AI lab. Natural languages are very large af f drs. Like 
whales and dephants, they make poor experimentd animds. 

Thus, more than anything else it is the small size, formal completeness and machine payability 
of Loglan grammar that seem to suit it for manipulation in the artificial intelligence laboratory. 

1.5 Loglan at the Machine-Man interface 

Another possible computer- related role for Loglan Is at what is called the "interface" between 
humans and their computing machines. At the moment this interface is occupied by a wide 
variety of computer software, very little of it succeeding in making the use of computers 
comfortable for the uninitiated. Despite a considerable commercial effort to make this software 
"user- friendly", the art of using computers remains an arcane one, full of magician's mumblings 
and sorcerer's symbols. Much of the arcanery appears to have arisen from the incorrigible 
literality of the machine coupled with the passion of professionals for compact code. The result is 
a freguently absurd situation in which a forgotten semicolon or an unmatched parenthesis can 
mean the loss of a night's work. 

Ideally, as all the science fiction has it, one should be able to talk to one's computer: to put 
guestions to it, to clarify one's purposes, to ask what's wrong when uncertainties over semicolons 
arise, to discuss with it the various ways in which a problem might be approached, to make 
choices among the sets of strategical alternatives it might present to you, or to answer guestions 
about its understanding of your problem or about the units or degree of precision in which you 
wish the solution expressed. In other words, to make the machine-man interface truly 
comfortable for humans and yet continue to be instructive for machines, we need a language in 
which the reguirements of both humans and machines are met. 

Loglan may be such a language. We have seen that it is utterly uneguivocal grammatically. One 
conseguence is that we humans become aware of what we are actually saying when we talk 
Loglan. So a Loglan- speaking human is much less likely to say one thing while meaning another, 
thus misinforming his or her machine. Also, as we shall see in the next chapter, Loglan words 
resolve uniguely from the speech- stream; no 'I scream'/'Ice cream' phenomena exist in it. So even 
spoken instructions are uneguivocal in Loglan. This is true of no other language. Being able to 
speak freely composed instructions spontaneously would add immeasurably to the speed and 
comfort of the interaction for humans, and yet, because it's Loglan, its being spoken would not 
diminish its precision for machines. 

What would guide such a spontaneous- one might even say unstructured- interaction? From the 
computer's point of view, its sole reguirement is eventually to understand exactly what you want 
it to compute. So it would first parse your sentences, look up the meanings of your words in a 
shared dictionary, make inferences from its understanding of your message, check them out 
against a shared knowledge- base, and finally check them out with you. When satisfied from your 
answers that it had understood your problem, it would translate the set of Loglan instructions it 
had received from you, and thus verified in this way, into some programming language or 
languages that it judged suitable to your task. In other words, it would program your problem. 
Perhaps it would have a set of computer languages, and libraries of stock programs in these 

languages, from which to choose. The computer would in effect program itself to execute 
whatever instructions it had elicited from you in the interface language. 

What do we human partners in this high-powered interaction reguire? That we be permitted to 
express our thoughts fully, freely and spontaneously without the risk of seriously misinforming 
our machines. That we be able to understand most of the machine's word-choices and all its 
utterance- forms immediately, and be able to clarify by interrogation whatever part of the 
computer's responses to us we do not immediately understand. That we be comforted by the 
knowledge that the machine is also attempting to understand us, and is using similar inguiries 
into our meanings and usages in order to do so. That all relevant knowledge be accessible to us 
as well as to the computer during the problem-defining session. And finally that we be able to 
make new bodies of relevant knowledge accessible to the computer when we discover that there 
is something it does not know that we think relevant to our joint task. 

Loglan is peculiarly well- suited to the dual role that would have to be played by the interface 
language in so rich an interaction. There appears to be no practical limit to the human thoughts or 
kinds of human knowledge that can be expressed in it despite its very small formal size. Y et it is 
that small size coupled with formal completeness that, as we have seen, makes it understandable 
to machines. Although its grammar is small and simple, the semantic domain of Loglan is 
immense. Unlike ordinary programming languages, which have severely limited vocabularies, 
Loglan will soon have, and in principle has already, a full-sized human lexicon. So from the 
human's point of view, anything that comes to mind can be said. Moreover, and unlike the subset 
natural languages now in use at many interfaces-for example, Subset English--the Loglan- 
speaking computer user will be able to use the full resources of his or her second language. 
Whatever the human says grammatically the machine with access to that lexicon will 
understand.— At the same time, the predicate calculus on which the basic giammar of Loglan has 
been built will provide a way of both storing human knowledge and making it useful to both 
machines and humans after being stored 

Despite its formal suitedness, there are at least two commercial barriers to Loglan's being used at 
the machine-man interface for some time. One is the financial risk of building an interface 
around a language of which there were at the outset very few-even a few thousand--speakers. 
The other is the cost to the non-Loglan- speaker of preparing him- or herself to use such an 
interface, namely learning a whole second language. Machines can learn Loglan instantly; 
humans require time. So until the number of humans who have already invested time and money 
in learning Loglan has grown substantially-and presumably they will have done so for some 
other reason-it seems unlikely that any but a public agency would risk an undeitaking that 
required such large investments on the part of potential users. 

It is true that the dream of using Loglan to talk with ramputersinayitsdf be a powerful motive 
for learning it But it is a dream that is not likely to be realized until a great many others have 
also been motivated to learn it So it is good to consider that there may be other motives for 
learning Loglan Once a population of Loglan-speakers exists, however and whatever their 
reasons were for learning it, there seems to be little doubt that the formal suitedness of Loglan to 
enabling machine-man interaction-a property which it may well possess uniquely among the 

spoken languages of the world-will eventually commend it to those concerned with the 
integration of computers into human life. 

1.6 Loglan as a Translation Medium 

Let me mention briefly yet another possible use of Loglan, one for which it also seems peculiarly 
well-suited, and for some of the same reasons: that is as a medium of translation among natural 
tongues. Such a medium would be useful to an international agency charged, for example, with 
disseminating scientific or technological information which had originated in one language into 
many others, the United Nations, for example. 

Consider the problem. An original document, say a French article on galactic evolution, is to be 
translated into a dozen other languages, from Chinese to Swahili. As this project would be 
implemented now, it would turn into a dozen separate translation tasks, each performed by its 
own bilingual expert, or team of experts, if as many as a dozen could be found. But with Loglan 
as the translation medium, the project would be transformed into essentially one task: translation 
of the French document into Loglan. Admittedly this would reguire human effort aided by 
whatever computer algorithms the agency had developed for this purpose. But the resulting 
Loglan document could then be more or less instantly retranslated into almost any number of 
other natural tongues, and this second step could in principle be performed, and so eventually in 
practice, by machines. 

The reason for the asymmetry is plain. Loglan is syntactically unambiguous; the other languages 
are not. Therefore, once the sense of any document has been satisfactorily rendered into Loglan-- 
once its metaphors and idioms ("idiotismos" as the Spanish wryly call them) have been 
transformed into literal Loglan by human workers who know both languages well, and once the 
most plausible interpretations of its syntax have been settled for-then the resulting document 
will be unambiguous in every sense of that word. Not only will the Loglan word- meanings be 
literally translatable into other languages- -as is unlikely to have been true in the source language- 
-the document will now be expressed in a language that is syntactically unambiguous as well. So 
it will now be ready for machine- translation into other tongues.— No further human work will be 
necessary. Any computer with access to a Loglan grammar and lexicon will know what the 
Loglan document is saying; so given bilingual dictionaries and even partial, translation 
giarnmars of other languages, saying it again in one of those other languages will be a task that 
computers probably can perf omi If they can then translations of the Loglan document could go 
out on as many different natural language wavelengths as we had bilingual dictionaries and 
translation grammars for.— 

Note that none of the ultimate consumers of this international translation service need know a 
word of Loglan What Loglan has made possible, and what the human translator into Loglan has 
supplied, is a clear statement to the Loglan translating machines of what a certain source 
message probably means. In a certain sense Loglan has enabled the human tiarMator of the 
original document to disambiguate that message, or it has forced him or her to do so by its 
reguiiement that, in Loglan at least, he or she be syntactically clear. Once this has been done, it is 
easy for the second order machines to re-express the now-unequivocal Loglan message in some 
relatively unequivocal words and phrases chosen from the target languages. Such unequivocal 

expressions are not always pretty. The English, for example, that results from this sort of 
automatic translation out of Loglan is peculiar English, bristling with curiously logical phrases 
like 'the mass of all ...' or 'the event, state or condition of ...', but it gets the job done. What is 
most striking about this kind of English prose is that it is crystal- clear. It is in fact "Loglanized" 
English. Reading it not only teaches one a lot about the Loglan way of seeing the world, just as 
Trobriandized English would teach one about Trobriand metaphysics, but Loglanized English 
also teaches one about English metaphysics. For it makes explicit what we English-speakers 
normally take for granted about the world. Now to make any metaphysics explicit is in some 
curious way to make it no n- metaphysical; it is to deprive it of the protective inattention that 
metaphysics normally enjoys. Assumptions that have been made explicit are no longer guite 
assumptions. They are propositions to be rolled over in the mind. 

Thus the covert process of translation into and then out of Loglan may have a small but 
interesting side-effect on those who read the "loglanized texts" that issue from it. They may 
become aware, perhaps guite incidentally, of what was formerly metaphysical in both their own 
language and the language of the source document. 

1.7 Loglan in Information Storage and Retrieval 

Another not guite so incidental by-product of using Loglan as a translation medium would be 
that the Loglan texts so created would be well-adapted for the machine storage and retrieval of 
the information they contained. For one of the same reasons that Loglan Is suitable at the 
interface, namely that knowledge stored in the predicate notation is apparently usable by both 
machines and humans, texts translated into Loglan and stored on some electronic medium could 
later be searched and even studied by machines. The studying Machines would be computers 
"trained", i.e., programmed in the A I style, in the human art of scholarly reading. Although key 
words and Phrases can be searched for now, and in texts written in any language, natural 
language texts cannot yet be understood by computers in this way. 

Once again Loglan yields a special benefit because its grammar is transparent and its meanings 

1.8 Loglan as a Planetary Second Language 

There is yet a seventh way of viewing Loglan. In fact, a substantial minority of those who are 
already interested in Loglan— see it as a lively candidate for the universal second language. 
Everybody who has thought about the matter seems to be convinced we're eventually going to 
need one on this planet, and a instructed language with the promise of political and cultural 
neutrality, as well as Loglan's apparent aptness for computer talk, seems a particularly attractive 
prospect for such a role. People in the "auxiliary language", movement as it is often called, insist 
that the new second language would not replace any existing tongue. Indeed, its very existence 
night help now-threatened minor languages to survive once a powerful second language were 
available to its speakers for rarnmunication with other folk. At first the international auxiliary 
would serve as everybody's rarnmunication channel with travelers or visitors, i.e., with everyone 
with whom one did not share a native tongue. Later it might be used preferentially even in 

groups that did share a native tongue if the topic being discussed-such as travel, technology or 
science-was more advantageously addressed in Loglan than in their common natural language.— 
Although Loglan was not designed for this bright future, it may nevertheless have attributes that 

Some night say that the still-divided state of the world militates strongly against the adoption of 
an international second language even if weliadanumberof good ones to propose. Quite so; but 
the world is a shrinking place. It seems likely that within the next fifty years or so the 
desirability, even the practical necessity, of an international second tongue will become apparent 
to all those charged with the education of the world's children. This is not the place to discuss the 
merits of the many plans that have been proposed to meet this contingency should it arise. Not 
even the basic division between those who favor the teaching of a constructed language, such as 
Esperanto or Loglan and those who favor the use of a widespread natural one, like English, may 
merit more than passing attention at this time. Even so, it is quite possible that, by the time this 
contingency does arise, research with Loglan or with other Loglan-like laboratory tongues, will 
have disclosed certain large, unrealized functional potentials in the human language faculty that 
will settle the argument decisively in favor of a deliberately constructed international tongue. It 
is also possible of course that it will not 

Even supposing that the most detailed confinnation of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis had taken 
place by the ti me the moment of decision arrived, I at one ti me doubted that a language of 
Loglan's severely ratiocinative cast, as I then thought of it, would prove the best choice. An 
international language, above all languages, it seemed to me, would be called upon to perform a 
multiplex function. Loglan was, I reasoned, a laboratory instrument designed to optimize 
linguistic performance along a single, if important, functional dimension: rational thought It 
was, in short, an uncompromising tool, it was even possible that the iiixompromisingly logical 
character of the language might have some interestingly negative effects on literary productions 
in the language; see Section 1.3 . In Loglan, as I was fond of putting it then, one is forced to be 

I now believe this view to be mistaken, and that the fear it leads to is guite groundless. In the last 
ten years I have made some discoveries about Loglan, perhaps also about the language arts in 
general, that persuade me that Loglan's "severely ratiocinative cast" would not unsuit it to be an 
international auxiliary tongue for everyman. In the first place, Loglan does not wear its logical 
dress incessantly; it displays the prepositional calculus only when its speakers wish to display it. 
In the second place, it turns out that the soul of Loglan is not its logicality but its optionality . It is 
as optionally illogical as it is logical. It is, in short, whatever its speakers wish it to be. 

What has happened in the last ten years is that I have spoken a language that was designed from 
the ground up and heard it spoken; I have observed the struggles- -guite common in second 
language leamers-to convey old messages over new channels, to pour old wine into new bottles 
without spilling it. I have examined the sometimes poetic and often frolicsome literary inventions 
of my fellow loglanists.. .especially when they were not decanting old semantic wine but being 
outrageously inventive and loglandical in their new language. Above all I have come to realize 
that while a new language may liberate inventiveness in surprising ways, no language forces 
anything but its obligatory grammatical arrangements on its speakers.- 

Not even clarity. Clarity is there in Loglan if you wish it. And clarity is genuinely more available 
to the speaker of Loglan than of other languages. If you want to be clear in Loglan, you will not 
for example, be tripped up by the massive, and largely unnoticed, ambiguity of your mother 
tongue, which I presume is English. But in Loglan, as in other languages, one is not obliged to be 

Can one, in Loglan, be unclear? Of course. One can use the same pronoun twice in the same 
utterance with different referents. One can use an argot word with listeners who do not know the 
argot. (Who could guess, for example, what modem particle physicists mean by 'charm? 
Translating it into Loglan will not suddenly make it clear.) Or one can inadvertently use a bad 
metaphor, one that has little chance of getting one's message across. It is true that the 
grammatical structure of one's bad metaphor will be clear to one's auditors in Loglan; that is, the 
order in which its parts were joined by you will be known to them. And this will help those 
auditors try to decipher your bad metaphor. But it does not guarantee that any of them will ever 

In these last ten years of engineering optionalities into Loglan I have formed a view of language 
which I suspect is very different from the one with which I began. I see language now as 
something very like a sign-painter's kit: a box of brushes, paints, templates and other tools which 
each of us carries about. With one's own personal sign-painter's kit-one's personal collection of 
English sign- parts, say-one constructs one's signs.. .in the air. One speaks English. Others 
similarly eguipped with English sign-making tools, and so familiar with their use, listen to you 
and attempt to decode your signs. If you have labored well, if you have constructed your sign 
intelligently and taken carefully into account how those particular others are likely to interpret 
your efforts, your sign may very well succeed in doing what you wanted it to do: it may sing of 
your intentions to them. If not, it won't; and you may never know that you have failed. 

If this view of language as a collection of sign-making instruments- -acguired in bulk during 
one's childhood but which one never tires of refurbishing in detail-is generally correct, 
languages do not force anything on anyone. Particular brushes or colors or templates do not leap 
out of the box into your hand. Y ou pick them up, use them in your often guite idiosyncratic 
ways, and, when either satisfied with or defeated in your efforts, you put them back down again. 
Others may "look at" your finished air- paintings, your utterances; and, if they choose, they may 
comply with or respond to whatever message you have succeeded in conveying to them. They 
may answer your guestion (if they understand it), or some other guestion that they thought you 
asked (if they didn't); but they will do all this as voluntary agents. They will not be responding to 
irresistable "forces" any more than you were. The language act, in both directions, is a totally 
voluntary, creative affair. It is a painting of signs in the air. And the watchers are free to invent 
for themselves what you mean, and act on it or not, as they choose. 

Where does the Whorfian sense of our being limited by particular languages come from, then? It 
comes partly from the simple matter of conforming to their obligatory grammatical arrangements 
if we want to be understood. But it comes also, I suspect, from deprivation: from not having in 
your native language kit what you might, in some vague way, be ready or yearning to use. If you 
don't have mauve in your sign kit, you can't use mauve to paint a sign. The musical genius born 
on the ice floes off Northwestern Greenland will never make the music he or she was, as we 

Europeans might say, "destined to make", because there are no grand pianos or other musical 
implements for miles around. In a precisely parallel way "illogical" languages lead to illogical 
speech because they don't make the machinery of logic easily available to their speakers, and so 
they don't direct the attention of their speakers to the logical dimension of their ideas. If this is 
so, then "logical" languages are those which do make the full machinery of logical analysis 
easily available to their speakers, and so do direct the attention of their speakers to the validity- 
conserving dimension of their own thinking. But the point is that no part of that machinery ever 
has to be used. We all know people who have never said--and in the remainder of their lives will 
never say-that something is A "if and only if" it is also B . That particular shade of logical 
English lies unused in their sign kits. It is there. Each of the words is there. Even the usage is 
there in the kits of other modern English speakers to be understood and copied if they choose to. 
But they don't choose to. Nothing except a stem schoolmaster could force them to. 

Apparently no piece of the linguistic apparatus has to be used. English and the other Indo- 
European languages suffer, in the Whorfian sense, from exactly this kind of limitation of their 
tense systems (to take just one example). We do not have a "tenseless tense" in these languages. 
Nor do we have an "epistemic" one, like Hopi. So we make do with the present tense.. .or with 
our 'Probably's and 'Certainly's. We say 'Socrates is a Greek philosopher'. We pick from the sign 
kit a sign that is usually used to mean something else, and with the help of our infinitely 
cooperative auditors, we make the present tense serve as the eternal tense that we do not have in 
English. In the same way that we can use screwdrivers as tent-pegs and jackknives to drive 
screws, so we are free to use any part of our languages in any ways that work to convey our 

What is the bearing of this rough, tool-kit theory of language on the possible aptness of Loglan 
as an international auxiliary tongue? The bearing is this. Loglan takes limits off; it has not 
applied them in now directions.. .not even logical ones. All the logical apparatus of Loglan is 
optional, just as its tense system is. It also has an optional case system, which, paradoxically, 
means that we may also speak without cases if we choose. Its standard (unmarked) word- order is 
Subject-Verb- Object (S-V-0). But every other possible order of the main ingredients of a 
sentence may also be used. Such a boundless language, full of optionalities, is precisely what 
will be wanted in everybody's second tongue. For every user of it will have a native language 
which will have put, if Sapir and Whorf are right, the first impress on his or her mind. If that 
native language has cases, he or she will want at first to use cases in his or her second language, 
too; if it uses a Subject-Object-Verb order in subordinate clauses as German does, then in such 
places he or she will want to use that order in the auxiliary tongue as well. Loglan will allow all 
these variations. And it will make them mutually understandable to persons who come from very 
different language backgrounds, precisely through the agency of their invitingly boundless 
second tongue. Loglan, in short, is a kind of linguistic no-man's land. It therefore belongs 
potentially to everyman. While I once had some doubts about the utility of Loglan as an 
international auxiliary, I would argue now that it is precisely the boundless optionality of Loglan 
that makes it especially well-suited to be everybody's second tongue. 

Loglan will have one doughty competitor for that role when the occasion for choosing a 
universal second language comes around, namely Esperanto. Much older than Loglan, and the 
only constructed human language that has ever successfully spread beyond the borders of 

Europe, Esperanto has already captured the hearts of many of the internationally inclined. 
Loglan, as the newcomer, will have to acquire its adherents in a different metier, probably in the 
laboratories of science. So it is likely to have a very different kind of early adherent. It may well 
continue to draw them first from the world community of computer professionals, the 
programmers and engineers, or from artificial intelligence workers, or from the linguistics labs 
and anthropology departments where Whorf-talk is still spoken, and, were Loglan to prove 
useful as a medium of scientific translation, it may ultimately draw adherents from the 
international community of science itself. 

But Loglan must not let itself be confined to such communities of intellectuals, or let them 
dominate any more of its affairs than are directly relevant to their concerns. If the language is to 
grow and spread, to make good its promise as a potential world auxiliary, it must have the 
support of plain people as well, and of the politicians and educators who will ultimately come to 
speak for them. 

I have been making the tacit assumption all along in this section that Sapir and Whorf will turn 
out to be in some sense right, that Loglan will have a special mind- expanding contribution to 
make as the international auxiliary. But suppose Sapir and Whorf are not right? Suppose 
particular languages do not set limits on human thought? Then it hardly matters what language 
our children choose for our grandchildren to talk in when they travel. Thought is; and thought 
will be. For the commanding alternative hypothesis is that the forms of reason are, as Kant 
surmised, among the biological givens of the human animal.— In that case, such incidental 
features of a language as whether it is easily learned or not orspeakableby ardtorompirters, or 
useful in translation night well turn out to be decisive. So, ironically, Loglan may turn out to be 
the preferred alternative after alL.even if the hypothesis that led to its construction is refuted 

1.9 Loglan as a Linguistic Toy 

There is a final way in which Loglan may be viewed which I wish to acknowledge briefly but 
candidly. This is the perspective from which Loglan is seen by many individuals, not as a 
research tool, not as contribution to the machine- man interface, not as a candidate for the 
international auxiliary, but as a delightful and very human toy. Perhaps nothing is so playful in 
human behavior as language play. And one of the language games we play is building languages. 
Logicians do it; mathematicians do it; poets and children do it. Indeed the whole, long, outwardly 
solemn history of international language building may be in no small measure an expression of 
language play. 

Moreover it gives me no pain to confess that building Loglan was also fun. And now that it is 
done, or nearly done, I am pleased to say that its smallness of scale makes it as apt for recreation 
in the living room as for manipulation in the laboratory. Learning any language is fun, and 
apparently the odder it is the better. Loglan is odd, no doubt about that; and many of the effects 
of learning Loglan are subjectively immediate and compelling. Whether those effects prove to be 
permanent or not--which is to say, whether Whorf is right or not--it is apparently fun to lose your 
English-speaking mind. There is, of course, nothing either strange or illegitimate about this 
playful use of Loglan. A telescope is a source of delight as well as a tool for collecting scientific 

facts. It is not surprising that putting on a new pair of linguistic lenses should also furnish a 
measure of delight. 

This book is guite openly addressed in part to those who are prepared to regard learning Loglan 
as pure fun- perhaps even useless fun-as well as to my more utilitarian scientific colleagues and 
to my fellow partisans of the international language movement. Many if not most of those who 
have written me about Loglan in the years since its earliest publication have guite plainly placed 
themselves in the first attractive category. To them, and to those others who may yet find joy in 
it, I confess my own delight-no matter what may be the outcome of my scientific labors-at 
providing them with an engaging toy. Besides, the first speakers of the language have come from 
just these playful learners. They and their motives are therefore no less important for the eventual 
capture of the Whorfian phenomenon-if Loglan proves to be its instrument- than the sober 
experimenters who may one day seek them out. 

1.10 Learning Loglan 

In the rest of this book I propose to treat Loglan as if it were a living, spoken tongue. Strictly 
speaking this is not guite yet the case. While sustained speech in the language has occurred, and 
while many of the 3,000 buyers of the 1975 books also learned to use the language in some way, 
that was some years ago. The engineering interest has been the dominant one in the Loglan 
community since the early 80's. But now, with the engineering phase of the project finally over, 
the language is ready to be learned and used.. .in some cases, as in my own, relearned and used 

Learning Loglan was, when it first happened, a bootstrap operation. Its early speakers had to 
simulate its speechways, and these simulated bits of fluent speech then served as stimuli for the 
free response of others. Little by little the necessity for simulation receded. When it was 
completely gone, when veridical Loglan speech began passing spontaneously from speaker to 
speaker, as it did in the rooms of The Loglan Institute in 1977 and 78, the first recorded 
demonstration of a wholly synthetic linguistic phenomenon had taken place.— I had hoped that 
thereafter there would always be genuine speakers from whom others could learn the language in 
ways more natural to the race. But engineering soon replaced speaking among those early 
speakers, including myself; our skill died back from want of use; and that first generation of 
loglanists are now very largely incompetent again. This is because the successful re-engineering 
of Loglan augmented the language hugely, especially its morphology; and there is now much 
that is new to be learned. 

I have no doubt that new masters of the language will guicMyemei^ with the publication of 
these 1989 books and their accompanying cassettes and teaching programs. Already groups exist 
that are waiting impatiently for these new materials to be issued. By the time you read this book, 
a new generation of Loglan speakers are likely to have leapt into the world. Still, in writing now 
about their ''speechways' 1 1 confess I am engaging in a genial deception. The behavior and 
insights I will attribute to "speakers of Loglan" in the remainder of this book are partly based on 
what I learned about the Loglan- speaking process in the period 1975-80 when the Loglan world 
was new. But partly they have been derived from the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which as 
everybody knows is still untested; the crucial experiments have not yet been run. We do not yet 

know what really happens to or in the heads of those who speak Loglan. Y et I have found the 
pretense of foreknowledge a useful, even an indispensable expository device. So what I will 
describe is the working out of at least one set of conseguences of the Whorf hypothesis as it 
applies to Loglan. They will be tentative ones, to be sure. But one cannot after all, entertain 
incessantly the possibility that Sapir and Whorf were wrong. Y et obviously they may be. To say 
so one more time is probably enough; the reader is forewarned. 

The rest of the book is straightforward exposition. I shall first describe the sounds of the 
language. This will take only a few pages, for there are not many sounds. Then I shall enumerate 
its word- forms, and these, too, are very few. We turn next to the three departments of Loglan 
grammar: its "predicate" forms, its "argument" forms, and the forms of its "utterances"... all terms 
which you will presently understand. These three grammatical chapters will comprise the bulk of 
the book. Then I shall describe the provisions that have been built into Loglan for its future 
growth. Then a summary chapter on the Whorf hypothesis and some illustrative appendices will 
bring us to the end of the book. The reader will find among these appendices a glossary of the 
primitive predicates of the language, a list of its little words and affixes, and one or two 
grammatical paradigms. 

This, obviously, is not all there is to a language. It is not even sufficient to learn a small one well. 
But we plan to accompany this 1989 edition of Loglan 1 with a set of teaching programs as well 
as audio casettes. The former will teach word recognition, construction and decipherment as well 
as the formation of simple utterances; and the latter will exhibit the speech sounds and utterance 
rhythms of the new language. A second volume, Loglan 6: Formal Structures, is planned for 
publication in 1990. This volume will give the technical user of Loglan a detailed formal 
exposition of all the lists, rules and algorithms that constitute the structure of the language. Then, 
if funding permits, we will staff the revision of the 1975 dictionaries and publish the Third 
Edition of Loglan 4 8c 5: A Loglan-English/English-Loglan Dictionary. 

A word about how we plan to finance these and further publications of The Loglan Institute. A 
certain proportion of the dues of those who elect to become members of The Institute-currently 
a large proportion, but it will be smaller as membership grows- will, be used to maintain the 
essential services which must stand behind any new language: the continuous update of its 
grammar, and, in our case, the maintenance of the unambiguity of its grammar; lexicon 
expansion and the continuous update of our master dictionary files; the building of a library of 
Loglan texts as these are generated by Loglan writers and translators; and the periodic 
publication for the Loglan-using public of new or updated printed materials such as primers, 
readers, dictionaries and reference manuals. The Institute invites readers to help provide these 
services to the Loglan-using by becoming members. Members will also enjoy, of course, the 
more usual benefits of membership such as interaction with fellow loglanists on topics of shared 
interest, as well as being regularly apprised of new publications and of the growth and spread of 
the language. 


1 See Sapir (1921) and Whorf (1956), the latter a posthumous publication. References 
throughout this book will be made by author's name and parenthetic date of publication and 
under this heading complete particulars will be found in the Bibliography. 

2 It should be pointed out that not all linguists agree with Sapir and Whorf's analyses; see, for 
example, C. F. Hockett, "Chinese versus English: An Exploration of the Whorfian Theses," 
(1954). The exceptions taken by Prof. Hockett were fairly typical. From his examination of 
Chinese and English he argued that their structures affect, not what can be said at all in these 
languages, but what can be said easily. He therefore disagreed with Whorf's thesis of the 
existence of a fundamental linguistic constraint on thought. But like most early criticisms of 
Whorf, Hockett replaced the rather simple, deterministic mechanisms Whorf supposed to be at 
work with more sophisticated, probabilistic ones which are, of course, egually hypothetical. 
What is wanted is experimental isolation of these mechanisms; for as Hockett himself points out, 
the Whorfian phenomena, if they exist at all, are bound to be particularly difficult ones to 
observe in situ. 

3 Summaries of this early and generally confirmatory work are to be found in Brown and 
Lenneberg (1958) and Carroll and Casagrande (1958). In general, it seemed to show that intra- 
cultural perception, at least, tends to follow grammatical, morphological and even phonological 
lines. The most important apparent disconfirmation of the hypothesis to date is probably 
Osgood's (1960) finding of a large cross-cultural similarity in semantic response despite large 
linguistic differences. None of this work confronts Whorf with his largest claim, of course--that 
language furnishes both the mechanisms and the boundaries of thought-and therefore none of it 
can claim to be decisive. 

4 A symposium on the scientific strategies available to linguists for dealing with the Sapir- Whorf 
hypothesis was held in the early 1950's and reported in Hoijer (1954). None of the members of 
this symposium, however, entertained the direct, experimental approach prepared for here. One 
gathers that for most anthropologically trained linguists languages, like mountains, are 
inimitable: a part of the extra- human macrocosm that one must be content to observe. Y et, 
guestions of mass aside, a large, if as yet undetermined, part of every language is obviously 
artifactual, if not guite artificial, and hence as alterable as a city street. The interesting modern 
guestion, of course, is exactly which parts of language are artifactual, and which are not. 

5 This is not guite true any longer. Semantic structures are currently being given a good deal of 
attention by linguists. See, for example, the "deep semantics" hypothesis of Geoffrey Leech 

6 By 'second' I really mean 'second or subseguent', that is, second, third or fourth, etc. But this 
long phrase is awkward to reuse. It's a pity we're not writing and reading Loglan, in which the 
word for this important and surprisingly freguently used notion is sutori, a word which breaks up 
as su ('at least') + to ('two') + ri ('-th'). So what we are talking about in this section are, in 
loglanized English, "at-least-second" languages. 

7 We shall have more to say about positive versions of the Whorf hypothesis- -various ways in 
which languages and written notations may be suspected of facilitating, or even enabling, certain 
kinds of thought-in Chapter 7 . 

8 For example, Bishop Wilkins' 17th Century project to construct "a philosophical language." 
Wilkins' efforts were preceded by theArs Signorum of the Scot Dalgamo, and were shortly 
followed by Leibniz 1 own efforts to construct an "algebra of thought." These, and other early 
essays in language planning, are described in Bodmer(1944). 

9 Or at least the justifying arguments that accompany the results of thought, for certainly no 
logician would claim these days that he is engaged in the naturalistic modeling of human 
thinking. Even so, the conduct of a justifying argument is a kind of thought, even a very 
important kind, and for this the logician's formal reconstruction of the most direct routes over 
which thought might proceed provides a very interesting, and functionally uneguivocal, 
paralinguistic model. 

10 At least in English. Sometimes calling themselves the "ordinary language philosophers," this 
group is largely British and largely centered at Oxford; among representative works see 
Strawson (1952) and Ryle (1962). 

1 1 For example, 30 days of an hour a day of vocabulary drill with flashcards plus somewhat less 
time spent in passive listening to cassettes seems to have been sufficient to prepare the four 
participants in the 1977-78 apprenticeship program for a month of face-to-face instruction in 
speaking the language. By the fifteenth or twentieth day of such instruction, three of these 
apprentices were sustaining Loglan-only conversation for 45-minute periods daily. These are the 
only hard data we yet have on the speed with which Loglan can be learned; and they are 
obviously strongly biased by the unusually high motivation of these early post- 1975 subjects. 
Many other loglanists have, of course, learned to use the language in less intensive ways since 
then; but we do not have similarly guantitative records of their experiences. Data on this and 
other learning guestions will soon be supplied, however, by our present, computer-based 
methods of recording the Loglan learning experience. These new methods will allow us to 
monitor the learning experiences of volunteer subjects even at a distance. 

In connection with learning speed, I have made one observation that shows that the speed with 
which a language-like system is learned cannot be a simple function of its size. My earliest 
efforts to teach Loglan, in 1957, gave me definite indications that the language was then too 
small to be learned. Its then very small size-400 words and approximately 100 rules-seemed to 
retard, rather than facilitate, its learning. (Like a pea in a shoebox it seemed to rattle around in 
my subjects' heads.) This observation supports the current view that the organizational structure 
of language is innate, that whatever is learned as a language must first of all be a language. No 
such difficulties have arisen in recent teaching trials. Evidently something happened to the 
structure of Loglan between 1957 and, say, 1977, when the first sustained speech in Loglan was 
observed, that made the 1977 language better suited to whatever may be the "hard-wired" 
features of the language acguisition device in human heads. 

12 For example, the Harvard translation grammar of English had well in excess of 6,500 sub- 
rules in the last report I received: Kuno and Oettinger (1963). The fewer than 200 sub- rules cited 
for Loglan are from the current (June 1988) formal grammar described in Notebook 3 (Brown 
1987), a book that will be replaced by Loglan 6: Formal Structures (Brown and Mclvor, 

13 The number of syntactic categories in the Harvard grammar; Kuno and Oettinger (1963). 

14 1 am using here Whorf's sense of the word 'metaphysical 1 : the sense in which a particular 
view of the structure of reality is "forced" on the speakers of a language by its obligatory 
grammatical arrangements. Of course Whorf cannot mean literally forced; since we escape these 
metaphysical "obligations" by several routes, among them philosophical analysis and learning 
second languages. 

15 The word 'primitive' has been adopted from formal logic where it means one of the undefined 
terms of a deductive system. In contrast, a "primitive predicate" of a given language is one that is 
underived within it, that is, a word that is derivationally simple in that language. The point here 
is that there is a crucial difference between definition and derivation, in that defined terms are 
susceptible to systematic logical transformation and derived terms are not. The use of the word 
'primitive' in this book may, therefore, tempt the sophisticated reader to expect more of them 
than he will get. 

16 These procedures are described from the standpoint of the word- maker in Section 6.5 . 

17 One reason for this may be that languages, unlike the more consciously acguired parts of 
human culture, evolve mostly by accretion, only occasionally by sloughing off. Thus a 
bewildering variety of grammatical arrangements co-exist for engaging the same point in the 
semantical field; and this is so despite the fact that each once- new grammatical arrangement was 
presumably devised by some brave speaker to engage a new point in that field. But it inevitably 
does so by redundantly covering old points as well. Loglan, having been constructed all at once, 
can have less grammatical overlap in covering the same field. 

18 The Installation of this property in the language was a two-stage process. Unambiguity was 
closely approached by a heuristic procedure in the years 1962-64. During those years I used 
systematic computer searches of the utterance domain of the language to locate and remove 
ambiguities. I carried on this work, experiencing lower and lower discovery rates, until the rate at 
which ambiguities turned UP on these searches fell to, and finally remained at, zero. Later, A ho, 
Johnson and Ullman's (1975) discovery of an algorithm for demonstrating conflict- freeness in 
certain classes of formal grammars allowed me and several co-workers to demonstrate that a 
formal analog of Loglan grammar was unambiguous in February 1982. In the course of obtaining 
this proof we discovered and of course removed the remaining ambiguities in the language 
(Brown 1982). 

19 A possible second reason why natural grammars are so much larger than they apparently need 
to be (see Note 17) has been suggested by our work in disambiguating Loglan. There may have 
been, and may still be, a conflicting, and so possibly alternating, pair of behavioral pressures 

driving the evolution of human grammars; see Brown and Greenhood (1985, and in press). One 
of these pressures is what we there call the burden of "incommunicable images": the body of 
complex images which the speaker can create in his or her own mind but which he or she cannot 
yet say to others with any hope of being understood. The other pressure is the "disambiguation 
burden" on the hearer: the number of possible, i.e., "grammatical", interpretations of a speaker's 
utterances among which his or her hearers are obliged to choose. The first of these pressures 
would lead human grammars to become ever more intricate, for they would do so as ideas which 
were once only thinkable became sayable. This would lead, in our model, to a temporary 
increase in the disambiguation burden; for any increase in the elaborateness of the grammatical 
apparatus is at first very likely to increase the number of legitimate interpretations elsewhere, 
largely as a conseguence of the grammatical overlap phenomenon mentioned in Note 17. When, 
however, the disambiguation burden grows so large through these accretions as to become 
intolerable, this would lead once again to its reduction through either the further refinement of 
the grammatical grain of the lexicon ("lexemification") and/or to the addition of still more 
clarifying particles ("particlization"). These, we argue on the linguistic evidence, are the two 
kinds of structural devices by which human grammars have become more powerfully 
disambiguating. Indeed, their application to the reduction of the disambiguation burden is what 
may have created human grammars in the first place. Loglan, having been deliberately 
engineered, is syntactically unambiguous; so its speakers place no disambiguation burden 
whatever on its hearers. In effect, the hearer's burden has been reduced to zero. If zero- 
disambiguation can be maintained in Loglan despite vigorous and widespread street-use--and 
this is a guestion to which we must, as scientists, be very attentive- -and our model of the 
grammar-evolution process turns out to be approximately correct, then the further development 
of Loglan may well be driven by the pressure on speakers alone: by the self- renewing burden of 
their incommunicable ideas. 

20 We do have some recorded Loglan speech output, namely the recordings of the daily Loglan- 
only sustained conversation sessions held between me and my apprentices in 1977-78; see Note 
11. But we were not yet fluent. So most of our pause-time was spent searching for words rather 
than in grammatical processing of complex sentences. Moreover, the grammar itself has changed 
in minor but relevant ways since that time. Still, it is a first step toward a recorded corpus of 
spontaneous Loglan speech. 

21 Payability does not of course exhaust the problem of meaning. What is left over is the 
meaning of individual predicates and the references of the designations in the parsed sentence. 
Where the Loglan lexicon is indecisive- -and it is inevitable in a growing language that 
occasionally it will be- -then the machine will be able to conduct inguiries: 'What kind of nucleus 
do you mean? Atomic? Or cellular?'.. .all carried out in Loglan, of course. The point is that such 
inguiries will take place within an implicitly agreed-upon grammatical structure. That is, the role 
of nukli in the Loglan sentence will be plain to both machine and human. 

22 It was once thought that even ambiguous documents could be translated by machine- executed 
algorithms into other ambiguous documents, mainly by teaching the machine to thread its way 
through the maze of possibilities by using a kind of "plausibility calculus" as humans appear to 
do. But this effort, despite having been well-funded in the U.S.A in the 50's and 60's, was in the 
end abandoned. Natural language turns out to be too riddled with ambiguity, its multiword 

predicate expressions (often called "idioms") too metaphorical, and those metaphors too culture- 
specific, for purely machine-translation from one natural language into another to succeed. The 
human translator of natural language text can be much aided by machines; but apparently he or 
she cannot yet be replaced by one. 

23 1 do not mean to suggest that the writing of such one-way "translation programs" out of 
Loglan into other languages would be trivial exercises. The writing of each program would be a 
major undertaking by Loglan- speaking scholars who were adepts in the given target language 
and in the sciences in which translations were to be produced. What I do mean to suggest 
however, is that such undertakings, unlike the machine- translation projects of the recent past, are 
very likely to be feasible; since nothing stands in the way of expressing meanings more or less 
uneguivocally--even in a normally ambiguous tongue--once the meanings to be so-expressed are 
known. For example, a Loglan-into-English machine- translation program already exists in 
skeletal form; it needs only to be fleshed out lexically for the various scientific vocabularies with 
which it might be used. The point is that once such one-way programs were available to the 
translating agency, their execution in a given case would be virtually instantaneous. In that sense 
their use would be a trivial step in the total information distribution task in which they were 

24 The prolegomena to Loglan were first published in the Scientific American (Brown 1960). 
This 16- page article generated a gratifyingly large and unexpectedly varied response, a 
substantial portion of which came from readers vitally interested in the international language 

25 The preferential use of one language over another according to topic often happens in the 
speech of genuine bilinguals when they are in the company of others known by them to be 
bilingual in the same languages. Usually speakers in such bilingual circles are guite unaware of 
having switched from one of their languages to the other; and their bilingual auditors are often 
similarly unaware that the switch has taken place, although both can easily remember such 
episodes in retrospect. If made aware, by an observer, that such language- switching has just been 
going on, both speakers and auditors report a general awareness that language- switching often 
happens in their circle; and they tend to explain the phenomenon as caused by what they believe 
to be the "functional superiority" of one of their two languages over the other for some topics of 
discussion, while the other language will be regarded as "superior" for other topics. This might 
be regarded as the banal sense of the Who rf hypothesis, the sense in which every bilingual 
traveller "knows" that it is true. 

26 Let us distinguish between the way a language might be said to "force" something on a 
speaker, in the sense of compelling him or her to make a certain (therefore "obligatory") 
grammatical or lexical choice, and "inducing" something in him, in the sense of directing a 
speaker's attention toward, or creating awareness in him of, certain aspects of the 
speaking/thinking process, or of the world which is its target, and in that way cause some 
language options to become more freguently chosen than others are. What I am saying here is 
that Loglan (like all languages) will compel very few choices, but may induce a great many. 

27 Curiously enough this view has become more, rather than less, plausible as modern research 
discloses larger and larger dimensions of the structure of language. For example, one argument 
for the existence of a large, innate component in the language structure is that the unconscious 
mass of orderly linguistic behavior is now known to be so large that no general learning theory 
can account for its acguisition. Besides, no society troubles itself to provide efficient instruction 
for its children in matters of speech behavior, though speech is the single most complex behavior 
that children evidently "leam." This is not to say that some people do not spend a good deal of 
time talking with their children and even correcting their speech behavior. But this is not 
instruction. It is providing data about the local language from which their children, like all 
human children, draw their own conclusions. Human children are apparently language- 
acguisition experts. What they reguire, and apparently all they reguire to learn a language, is a 
copious stream of the language itself. These modern observations have opened the door-so long- 
thought firmly closed--to the Kantian presumption that there are innate "forms" of "pure" and 
"practical reason"; and they do so by a curious twist of the Whorfian argument that deprives it of 
its relativity. We will return to this argument in Chapter 7 . 

28 There have, of course, been other sudden emergents. Over a hundred thousand people once 
spoke Esperanto-the number has diminished now to around thirty thousand, according to Forster 
(1982)--and there must have been a time when learning Esperanto was just such a "boot-strap" 
phenomenon as I have described. Secular Hebrew is also the result of a boot- strap operation in 
that apparently one family, among the early Zionist settlers in Palestine, resolved to use Hebrew 
and nothing else for all their daily needs; and from that center of necessitous invention the Israeli 
language as it is spoken today apparently spread. Speaking Loglan will differ from these other 
deliberate efforts to promulgate "new" languages in two ways: (1) its focus is scientific, and it is 
very likely, therefore, to be more closely observed; and (2) its newness is total. The unnewness 
of modern Hebrew is a complement of the fact that a sacred tongue existed. The vocabulary of 
that sacred language had to be rapidly expanded, but very little else. And Esperanto has a 
grammar that in all important particulars is "Standard Average European," as Whorf would say, 
and is therefore housed in the minds of its learners before they begin. Thus Esperanto was not cut 
from whole cloth and Loglan is. In this lies one, perhaps the greatest, of its scientific values. 

(Return to the Table of Contents) 

C hapter 2 

2.1 First Impressions 

When you first hear Loglan spoken it will probably remind you of Spanish or Italian. It has the 
same short list of curtly spoken vowels, and the same rhythmic alternation between consonants 
and vowels dominates the speech-flow. Spoken slowly Loglan has the same strongly marked 
pattern of stresses and pauses that characterizes these Romance languages. Y et at the same time, 
and like them also, it is also capable of being spoken with great speed, the effect then being of 
long staccato bursts of evenly stressed syllables. 

Like these languages, too, we expect that the sound system of Loglan will be very easily 
mastered. No new sounds are reguired of a speaker of English, for example, and its word-forms 
are extremely simple and regular. Some of the rarer consonant combinations will seem odd to an 
English-speaking learner but none will be difficult to either hear or pronounce. The biggest 
difficulty for the English- speaker will be in learning to read; for some of the letters of the 
English alphabet are used differently in Loglan. But since spelling in Loglan is strictly 
phonemic-each instance of what we perceive to be the "same sound" will always be represented 
by the same single letter-even this difficulty is more apparent then real. 

In short, and on first acguaintance, spoken Loglan will have a natural, familiar air. Appearances 
are deceiving, however. Loglan is in fact a very strange language; even its sound-system has 
properties which no natural language has. One of these is that no matter how swiftly spoken, any 
string of Loglan sounds will automatically resolve into a unigue string of separate words. 
Moreover, it will have this property even for a newcomer who does not know these words. Some 
natural languages exhibit this useful property in some degree but none possess it perfectly. It will 
be the central theme of this chapter to show how this peculiar advantage for the learner is built 
into the sound-system of Loglan. 

2.2 The Design Problem 

The scientific plan for Loglan reguired that it incorporate a maximum amount of phonetic 
recognizability into its basic words. 1 This meant devising a sound system in which to build those 
words that would provide good phonetic approximations of the major distinctions, at least, that 
occur in the most widely spoken natural languages. At the same time it was hoped that a phonetic 
system that could do this would remain modest in size, regular in pattern, and present no 
insuperable pronunciation difficulties to speakers of any widely- spoken language. The system 
that resulted was a compromise; for it contains some sounds that are definitely not universal, and 
some sound clusters that will be difficult to pronounce for native speakers of some languages. 

But the inclusion of these sounds and sound patterns has added notably to the regularity of the 
language, or to the over-all recognizability of its word- stock, or to both. 

The languages selected in 1955 to measure recognizability in Loglan were the eight then most 
widely spoken languages in the world: English, the Beijing dialect of Chinese, Hindi, Russian, 
Spanish, French, Japanese and German. At the time, native and secondary speakers of these eight 
"source" languages comprised nearly 80% of the population of the earth. Today, they constitute a 
good deal more. Our source population was limited to speakers of just these eight because the 
trial inclusion of the ninth language, Arabic, made no significant improvement in the average 
recognition scores of Loglan words and did complicate the word-building process. So no 
languages beyond the first eight were included. 

In contrast, the lengthening of the originally very short list of Loglan speech sounds did make 
some difference in recognition. The inclusion in 1958 of the widely used consonantal sounds c 
and j-c is the English [sh]-sound ([ s] in the International Phonetic Alphabet) and j is the French 
'j' of 'Jacgues' and English 's' of 'vision' ([z] in IPA) and spelled [zh] in the phonetic guides- 
increased the recognition scores of the new words made with them from an average probability 
of about .35 of being recognized to one of about .50, a very substantial improvement indeed. The 
sounds [sh] and [zh] occur in one form or another in all the source languages. They had been 
excluded from the earliest Loglan phoneme set because neither is uniformly represented by a 
single letter in the European languages. In particular, the letters 'c' and 'j' do not always spell 
these sounds. Representing them as c and j has therefore diminished readability just as using 
them has increased the recognizability of spoken words. 

Another improvement in recognition scores- this time at no cost in readability-was made by 
popular demand in 1977 when h was added to the language. This time the increase in recognition 
scores was smaller: an average of about .05 probability points was added to the scores of words 
remade with h. The sound of h is not universal in the source languages, however, being missing 
from Spanish- and all but missing from French. Curiously enough the letter 'h' does occur in 
these languages, but is silent in Spanish and often pronounced with a "glottal stop" (a very short 
silence) in French. So either in sound or appearance, h was already familiar to the source 
population and so could be added at relatively small cost. 

In 1 982 the letter y was added, and four years later the last three letters of the English alphabet, 
namely q, w and x, were added to the Loglan set. This was done to make the incorporation of the 
Linnaean vocabulary of biology possible. To spell this internationally standardized vocabulary 
the full European alphabet is reguired. These last four added letters have fairly peculiar 
pronunciations in Loglan, as indeed they have in most languages. The sounds they have been 
assigned are certainly not universal. But an unexpected bonus is that, in addition to their use in 
science, they are also being used to give more exact pronunciations to many borrowed names. 

So Loglan sounds are, in the end, not guite universal. None of the sounds spelled by q, w, x and 
y is universal, and, as already noted, the sound of [h] does not occur in either French or Spanish. 
Even the original list included v and 1; and there is no [v]-sound in Chinese, and neither [v] nor 
[1] occurs in Japanese. But the [r:l] contrast is absolutely necessary to distinguish a host of Indo- 
European word-roots, especially the Graeco-Latin ones used in science; and [v], while not 

important in itself, is the voiced equivalent of [f], which is widespread. In fact the chief reason 
for the inclusion of v was to preserve the symmetry of the phonological system, a feature that is 
now thought by linguists to be minimally conserved even under conditions of swift phonological 
change. Thus if Loglan is to have a stable phonological structure, it is obviously better to start 
with a symmetrical phonology than an asymmetrical, and hence potentially unstable, one. 

2.3 The Size of the System 

The phonological size of a language can best be measured by the number of its phonemes, for 
these are the elements which must be separately mastered before it can be spoken or understood. 
A phoneme is a class of sounds in a given language all members of which are perceived by the 
speakers of that language as instances of "the same sound." We shall see that what constitutes the 
psychological sameness of two sounds for the speakers of a language depends more on how 
these sounds are distributed in the utterances of that language than on their acoustic similarity. 
But however the boundaries of a phoneme are determined, it is important to remember that a 
phoneme is not one sound, or even an acoustic asymptote toward which speech tends, but a 
group of sounds which may include several which seem acoustically quite different to the foreign 

Counting only its regular phonemes, then-its three irregular ones being used with few 
exceptions to spell only Linnaean and other "foreign" names-Loglan has 27 phonemes: 6 
vowels, 17 consonants, 3 varieties of stress, and one juncture or pause. This contrasts well with 
the size of English, which by a similar count has 45 phonemes, and it falls at the low end of the 
human range, which lies between about 15 phonemes per language and about 85. Only Hawaiian 
is smaller than Loglan among the languages whose names you are likely to know. 

Now in itself there is no virtue in smallness. The fewer the sound classes in a language, the 
longer its words must be; and there is certainly no virtue in long words. But it is also true that the 
fewer the phonemes of a language are, the larger the average phonetic distance between their 
sound values can be, and this last property, it turns out, does contribute greatly to intelligibility. 
Loglan is likely to be spoken in many quite different dialects. The mutual intelligibility of any 
two of those dialects will depend greatly on the readiness with which the phoneme boundaries of 
one dialect can be lined up with, or tuned in on, those of the other. In a language with numerous 
phonemic boundaries, such as French or English, this mutual realignment between dialects is 
difficult even for native speakers to make. The phonetic wavelengths are, so to speak, already too 
closely packed. This is probably the reason why dialects in phonemically large languages tend to 
be more difficult to understand than in phonemically smaller languages like Spanish or Italian. In 
a language like Loglan, which is almost as small as it can be, dialectical confusion can be 
expected to be at a minimum. There is, for example, only one class of /a/-sounds in Loglan. 
Therefore, it scarcely matters whether the letter 'a' is pronounced in Loglan as a Spaniard would 
pronounce it, or as a Frenchman or a Bostonian would. For there is no other class of Loglan 
sounds into which any of these national varieties of /a/ is likely to be sorted. 

Throughout this book we will assume that it is the American English dialect of Loglan we are 
describing. This may not turn out to be the "standard dialect" of Loglan, if there ever is one. As 
we have already noted, Loglan has closer phonological affinities with vowel-rich languages like 

Spanish than with consonant-rich ones like English. (By a "vowel-rich" language I mean one 
with a high incidence of vowels in the speech stream.) Still, English, Russian, French, German, 
Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and Swahili students of Loglan are invited to pronounce any of 
its phonemes in any way which is "natural" in their languages. Eventually there may be a 
standard Loglan r. But at the moment the differences between the French uvular /r/, the Spanish 
trilled one, the English vocalic M and the Chinese fricative one, are simply not phonemic in 
Loglan. They are, in short, differences that make no difference in Loglan. 

In the next few sections we shall describe the four classes of Loglan phonemes-vowels, 
consonants, pauses and stress-and then turn to the few simple rules that govern their occurrence 
in the speech-flow.- 

2.4 The Six Regular Vowels 

The six regular Loglan vowels can be further divided into two groups: the five main vowels, a e i 
o u pronounced [ah eh ee oh oo], which may occur in any word of the language, and the sixth 
vowel, y pronounced [uh], which may occur only between the terms of a complex word- in this, 
it is rather like a hyphen-or, in a few exceptional cases, to form a borrowing. For example, the 
element Y tterbium, with its international symbol Y b', is spelled yterbio in Loglan; and this is an 
exceptional use of y . We will devote Section 2.6 to the uses of this special vowel. 

25 The Five Main Vowels /a e i o W 

The five main vowels are the five most commonly heard human vowels. They are heard in all 
our source languages although with some variation from language to language. They are a [ah] 
as in 'father' (in the French and Spanish dialects it will probably be the higher-pitched [aa] of 'la' 
and 'casa'), e [eh] as in 'met', i [ee] as in 'machine', o [oh] as in 'note' and u [oo] as in 'lute'. They 
are all short, "pure" vowels with no trace of the diphthongalization that is so common in English. 
Loglan No, for example, sounds a little angry. is so curt. In this, it is exactly like a Spanish or 
Italian 'No!' if you have heard one recently. It has none of the prolonged, softened, almost 
disyllabic effect of English 'No-ooo!' [NOH-oo]. The other Loglan vowels are similarly 
shortened. Note that i and u have values that are rare for these letters in English. But if you speak 
other European languages you will probably recognize that [ee] for 'i' and [oo] for 'u' are in fact 
the most common pronunciations of these letters on that continent. 

Note also that [ah eh ee oh oo] are in fact very widely spaced sounds. If a Frenchman pronounces 
the vowels of matma (Loglan for 'mother') as the French [aa] of 'la' ([a] inlPA), or if an 
Englishman uses the short 'a' of 'sofa' ([a] in IPA) for the final, unstressed vowel of this same 
word-as both are very likely to do-it hardly matters. For neither of these "free variations" of 
Loglan a will turn matma into metma, mitma, motma or mutma or into matme, matmi, 
matmo or matmu; and these are the only confusions with the vowels of matma that can occur 
in these positions in Loglan. 1 

The sounds of four of the main vowels vary systematically with, the phonemic contexts in which 
they occur. When i precedes a vowel, as it does in the word ia (meaning 'yes'), it has the value of 

English 'y' as in 'yes'. This gives ia a sound that we could write comfortably in English as yah'; 
and [yah] in fact is how we will represent the word ia in the pronunciation guides in this book. 
Similarly, when u precedes a vowel, as it does in ui ('gladly'), it has the value of English 'w' ; and 
that makes this word sound like [wee]. (The gleeful note is not accidental.) Similarly, uo is 'woe' 
[woh], io is yo' [yoh] ; and iu is pronounced like English you' to which our guide will be [yoo]. 
In general [y] and [w] will guide our pronunciation of i and u whenever they occur before 

These consonant-like uses of i and u are regarded as instances of vowel phonemes in Loglan, and 
not as separate consonants, because they are distributed complementarily with the more usual, 
vocalic values of these letters. Thus, the [y]-value of i never occurs before consonants and the 
[ee]-value of i never occurs before vowels. So from the point of view of the Loglan-speaker- 
whatever his linguistic background-they may be safely regarded as instances of the same sound. 
That they will actually come to be so regarded by your own ear is a prediction we can 
confidently make on the basis of our knowledge of similar effects in the natural languages. 

A third vowel that experiences contextual variation is e. Before vowels e has the curt, tense 
sound of [eigh] in 'eight'([e] in IPA), which is the same sound the letter 'a' has in English 'late', 
'mate' and 'sate' spoken briskly. We represent this value of e by [eigh] in the guides because 'eigh' 
is the only spelling of this sound in English that never means anything else. The sound [eigh] is 
always the value of e when it occurs before vowels.. .as it does, for example, in meo [MEIGH- 
oh], a Loglan word that is pronounced exactly like English 'Mayo'. Any e- initial vowel-pair in 
Loglan has the sound [eigh] in first position: [eigh-ah] and [eigh-oo] are the pronunciations of ea 
and eu. The [eigh] value of e never occurs before consonants. 

A more common value of e is the relaxed sound it has before consonants, which is the sound it 
has in English 'let', 'met' and 'set'([s] in IPA). This second value of e is represented in the guides 
by either [eh] or [e], the former being a better guide to its sound when the e is final in a Loglan 
syllable, e.g., [meh], while the latter is uneguivocal when the e is between consonants, e.g., as in 
[met]. Thus the guides to the pronunciation of Loglan le me se will be [leh meh seh], but of let 
met set, which contain the same relaxed e-sound, the guides [let met set] will be unmistakable. 
Perhaps the most freguent pronunciation error made by both English- and Romance- speakers 
learning Loglan is to use the tense value [eigh] for *[leigh meigh seigh] for le me se. (The 
asterisk '*' indicates that this is an incorrect pronunciation.) If your native language disposes you 
to make this error, please take the time now to notice that these three Loglan words-le me se - 
have the same sounds as English 'let' 'met' 'set' with the final 't's dropped off. In fact, the best way 
to learn to say Loglan le (which means 'the') correctly is to start to say 'let' and then surprise 
yourself by stopping with 'le-'. In short, le is an unfinished 'let'. 

Sound-pairs, such as the [e/eh eigh] values of Loglan e, the [ee y] values of Loglan i, and the [oo 
w] values of its u, which are found in complementary distribution in some languages, are called 
allophones of some phoneme in that language. Among Loglan vowel phonemes there is one 
other important allophone-pair. The phoneme o has the value [oh] (IPA [o]) except before i or r. 
In just these two contexts o has the value of [aw] in English 'law' (IPA [o]). The same variation 
occurs in English. For example, notice how the value of English 'o' shifts from [oh] to [aw] in 
going from 'note' to 'nor', and how the same shift occurs phonemically in going from 'mower' to 

'more' ([MOH-rr] to [mawr]) in English. Also note that the sounds of English 'noise' are in many 
dialects more closely approximated by the phrase 'gnaw ease' than by 'no ease' ([NAW-eez] and 
[NOH-eez]); for in the i-context, too, this same shift in the value of 'o' occurs in most dialects of 
English. Thus in Loglan as in most languages, if o is followed by r or i ; a shift from [oh] to [aw] 

2.6 The Vowel /y/ 

Y is not a consonant in Loglan but a vowel. Its sound is represented in the guides by [uh] which 
is the value of English 'a' in 'sofa' and 'above', of 'o' in 'of and 'above', of 'u' in 'up' and 'under', 
and of 'e' in unstressed 'the'. The sound [uh] is a short, grunted vowel that is seldom stressed and 
is very common in the Germanic and Slavic languages but rare in Romance tongues. Thus in the 
special character strings used to explain Loglan pronunciation in this book, English 'love' would 
be written [luhv], 'above' would be written [uh-BUHV], and 'sofa' would be written [SOH-fuh]. 
See the page before the Foreword (p.14) for the whole list of English spellings used as guides. 

As mentioned briefly in Section 2.4 , y's most important function in most dialects of Loglan will 
be to serve as a kind of spoken hyphen. For example, the Loglan word for 'eye-doctor' is [MEK- 
uh-kyoo] or mekykiu. The first part, mek-, is derived from the word for 'eye', which is [MENG- 
kee ] spelled menki, and the second, -kiu, from the word for 'doctor 1 , which is [KEESH-moo] 
spelled kicmu. But if mek- and -kiu were spoken without the separating hyphen [uh], that fact 
would be lost; for the word would come out [MEK-yoo]. This could only be understood as the 
two-word phrase me kiu and not as a word at all. Inserting -y- not only holds mek- and -kiu 
together but also insures that both k's will be heard. When y is playing this hyphenating role in 
complex words it is never stressed. In fact, it is a "non- syllable" : one that is not even counted in 
fixing stress. In Loglan text, y is sometimes represented by the printed hyphen '-'. Thus mek-kiu 
is a variant spelling of mekykiu but is pronounced, of course, in exactly the same way. 

Y also occurs as an ordinary sound in names. For example, [huhnt] Hynt is the Loglan 
transcription of the English surname 'Hunt', and [SUHM-trr] Symtr transcribes the surname 
'Sumter'. (The sound [rr] in this second name is, as we shall see later, a "vocalic r".) In its name- 
spelling role y may occasionally be stressed. Y also occurs in borrowings when there is some 
compelling reason to preserve a y' in the textual form of a word. The compelling reason in the 
case of the words 'ytterbium' and 'yttrium' is that the letter y ' occurs not only in the spellings of 
these element words in most languages (Spanish 'iterbio' and 'itrio' are exceptions) but in the 
internationally standardized symbols Yb' and Y ' as well. Clearly the Loglan words for these 
elements should also be spelled with y. The results are [uh-TEHR-byoh] yterbio and [UHT- 
ryoh] ytrio. In these two cases, and currently in no others, y appears as a non-hyphen in a 
regular word. If the [yoh] sound for io in this context seems difficult to master, try saying [uh- 
TEHR-bee-oh] and [UHT-ree-oh] for a while. After a little practice you will find it easy to run 
these last two unstressed syllables together as [-yoh]. 

So the main uses of y are three: as a spoken hyphen; to give accurate respellings of some 
borrowed names; and to serve as a consonant buffer in the buffered dialects of Loglan, which is 
the topic to which we now turn. 

2.7 Buffered Dialects 

The most exotic use of Loglan y is as the consonant buffer in the buffered dialects of Loglan.- In 
these dialects the more difficult consonant- pairs of "standard" (i.e., unbuffered) Loglan are 
buffered, i.e., their members are separated from each other by the buffering vowel y. For 
example, you may recall that the standard Loglan word for 'mother' is [MAHT-mah] matma. 
Suppose the consonant- pair tm is difficult for ; let us say, Japanese learners of Loglan to produce, 
as in fact it is. In Japanese the sound III is always separated from a following /m/ by a vowel or 
vowel-group. But Japanese loglanists are at liberty to buffer any Loglan consonant pair that is 
difficult for them to pronounce together. So they regularly insert the vowel [uh] between l\J and 
/ml, saying [MAHT-uh-mah] for matma. Japanese loglanists could continue to spell their Loglan 
word as matma, or mark it as mat'ma, or use some other diacritical mark, or spell their 
pronunciation of it explicitly as matyma. But however they chose to spell the buffered word, 
their pronunciation of it would be [MAHT-uh-mah], a sound- seguence that would soon be as 
intelligible to loglanists speaking other dialects as [MAHT-mah] was. For if y is used exclusively 
as a consonant buffer in some dialect of the language, the presence or absence of its guick little 
sound [uh] between consonants would soon be heard as "linguistic noise" in that dialect. So in 
that dialect [uh] would become a "non-sound" . Whether it was there or not in any given case 
would be another difference that made no difference in Loglan. 

But for buffering to work, y must be used for no other purpose in the non-names of the buffered 
dialects. So in these dialects the role played by hyphen y in unbuffered ones is played by the 
buffered hyphen [yuh] spelled iy. Thus the word that was mekykiu in any unbuffered dialect of 
Loglan would be pronounced [MEK-yuh-kyoo] in every buffered one. Again this dialect word 
could be variously spelled, e.g., as mekiykiu, mek-kiu or even with a special hyphenating mark 
as in mek=kiu. But again, for hyphenating to work in buffered dialects, the sound segment [yuh] 
must have no other use except as it might appear in a borrowed name. For example the seguence 
[yuh] occurs naturally in the English surname Young'. The best approximation of this name in 
Loglan is [yuhn] spelled Iyn; but here the iy causes no problems. There is more on names in 
Section 2.15 . 

Buffering foreign words has a long tradition in vowel-rich languages like Japanese and Chinese. 
For example, thejapanese name forthe Dutch city of Amsterdam is Amusuterudamu'. The letter 
used to represent the buffering vowel in Romanized dictionaries of Japanese is clearly 'u'; but its 
phonetic value is in fact much closer to our Loglan [uh] than to our [oo]. 

We may expect a buffered dialect of Loglan to emerge among any group of speakers in whose 
shared native language the proportion of vowels in the speech stream was, by world standards, 
unusually high. In such languages utterances tend to be long strings of single consonants 
alternating with single vowels or vowel-groups. Consonant-clustering is therefore rare in such 
languages and the variety of permitted clusters is usually severely limited. Japanese is such a 
language. Chinese is somewhat less so but has a limited set of consonant- pairs. Among 
Europeans, Italians are perhaps the most intolerant of consonant-clustering and so most likely to 
employ the buffering principle in learning foreign languages. In the native languages of all these 
buffering peoples, the variety of consonant- pairs permitted is always very limited. In Japanese, 
for instance, the permitted set is /dj tc ts mb mp/ plus /n/ followed by any of a list of consonants. 

We may expect any other pair of Loglan consonants to be buffered in the Japanese dialect of 
Loglan. Similarly distinctive buffering patterns are likely to develop in other buffered dialects.- 

2.8 The Seventeen Regular Consonants 

The regular consonants of Loglan are represented by the letters 

bcdfghjklmnprstvz. These are all the English consonant letters except 'g' ; W, 'x' and 
y'. We have just seen that y' is a vowel in Loglan, and the other three missing letters occur only 
in irregular words. Their uses will be discussed in the next section. Of the seventeen consonant 
letters that do have uses in regular Loglan words, all but two have the same pronunciation in 
Loglan that they have most commonly in English. Thus s as in 'bus' ; but never as in 'busy 1 ; g as in 
'gate', but never as in 'gem'; k as in 'kit', but never silent as in 'knot'; and so on. The two 
exceptional letters are c and j. These we have already learned have the values of English [sh] and 
the French [zh] of 'j' ; this last also being the rather rare American English sound of 'z' in 'azure' 
or of '-ge' in some pronunciations of 'garage'.- In the guides we will use [sh] and [zh] to cue the 
pronunciation of these two oddly-spelled sounds. 

Of the two letters c and j, c is the only real stumbling-block in reading Loglan. Do you not agree 
that seeing jo as a new kind of 'Joe' (with the soft French sound in 'azure') will be easier for your 
eye to do than learning to see 'shoe' in Loglan cu? Or 'sheep' in cip? Though seeing the German's 
'schnapps' in cnaps might be a little easier. Still, while the letters c and j will be troublesome for 
your eye, neither sound will give your ear or tongue the least trouble. Say [zho shoo sheep zheep 
shnahps] and you have pronounced the Loglan letter- strings jo cu cip jip cnaps, an odd mixture 
of French and German sounds. 

Y ou may wonder how it happened that the letters c and j acguired these odd uses. Y ou may 
recall that they stand for two sounds that were added to Loglan fairly early in the design work 
and that they made a very important contribution to the over-all recognizability of spoken 
Loglan. The reason I was reluctant to include these two sounds in the original phoneme list was 
not because they were not very widely used- because in fact they are- but because [sh], at least, 
is not spelled with the same single Latin letter in any group of languages that I knew of. (It is 
spelled with two different single letters in two languages, however: in Hungarian, where it is 
spelled by the letter 's', and in Portuguese, where it is one of the many values of the letter 'x'.) 
The sound [zh], in contrast, is spelled with the same single letter in at least four Latin alphabets: 
those of French, Turkish, Roumanian, and Portuguese, in all of which [zh] is spelled with 'j'. 
(Both [sh] and [zh] have single letters in Russian, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet. But the Latin 
alphabet is by far the most widely used alphabet on the planet and it was obvious it must be the 
Loglan alphabet as well.) Y et despite their irregular natural spelling, [sh] and [zh] not only 
proved to have great practical importance for building recognizability into Loglan, but the 
phonological symmetry of the language would in fact be weaker without them. 

When it was clear that the sounds [sh] and [zh] had somehow to be accommodated in the Loglan 
version of the Latin alphabet, the letter j was an obvious choice for [zh], not only because [zh] is 
always represented by that letter in French and three other languages, but because it is also a 
component, on Loglan phonemic analysis at least, of the English sound of 'j' in 'judge'. This very 

common English segment is actually composed of two sounds: [d] + [zh]. (This can be heard by 
constructing the word 'badger' from 'bad' followed by 'azure' stripped of its initial vowel: thus 
'bad' + '-zure' = 'badger'.) This means that the sound 'j ' usually has in English will be represented 
by a consonant pair in Loglan, namely the pair dj . 

The letter c is a less obvious candidate for the [sh]-sound; but it is an inevitable choice even so. 
For one thing, the work 'c' usually does in other Latin alphabets is done in Loglan by k and s. For 
another, the letter c is not entirely unacguainted with the [sh]-sound in other languages. It 
appears in the German trigraph 'sch' ; which is the most familiar spelling of [sh] in German 
('schuh', 'schwein' ; 'schiff' ; and so on); and it is the characteristic element in the French digraph 
'ch' which is the invariant spelling of the [sh]-sound in French ('chez' ; 'chef, 'chien' ; and so on). 
In yet another language, Italian, a 'c'-containing digraph, 'ci-' ; is always used to write the sound 
we write in English with 'ch'...for example, in 'ciao' ; where it has exactly the same sound as 
English 'chow'. But Italian 'ci-' and English 'ch' also conceal a composite sound: in this case one 
composed of [t] + [sh] ; or Loglan tc. Thus the word we would write in English as 'cheap' may be 
rewritten in Loglan phonemes as tcip. (This can be heard by building the sounds of 'cheap' from 
'fat sheep 1 by leaving off the 'fa-'. Thus 'fat' + 'sheep' - 'fa-' = 'cheap'. Evidently 'cheap' could be 
written 'tsheep'.) So tc and dj are in fact very similarly constituted consonant groups in Loglan, 
and they have symmetrical roles in the language. We will sometimes represent tc by [ch] and 
sometimes by [tsh] in the guides. Similarly, dj may be represented by [dzh] or sometimes simply 
by [j]. In each case, these are the same sounds. 

Before leaving the consonant sounds, we must mention that there is one complementarily 
distributed pair of them in Loglan. (A "complementarily distributed" pair of sounds are such that 
if one ever appears in any context, the other never appears in that context; and vice versa.) These 
are the two allophones of the phoneme n. The first allophone is the usual English value of [n] as 
in 'new'. But this sound never occurs before k or g in either English or Loglan. The other is the 
[ng]-sound of 'sing', which never occurs elsewhere in Loglan. So the [n] of 'new' and the [ng] of 
'sing' ([q] in IPA) are in fact complementarily distributed sounds in Loglan. This same allophonic 
shift in the value of /n/ also occurs in English. Notice that the 'n' of English 'bank' does not have 
its usual value (i.e., the word is not 'bann-ickk') but the value of 'ng' in 'bang'. (Thus 'bang kit' 
and 'bank it', if spoken pauselessly, are indistinguishable in English.) But [n] and [ng] are not 
complementarily distributed sounds in English; for notice such contrasting English pairs as 
'sin'/'sing', 'thin'/'thing', and so on. So in other contexts than before /g/ and /k/ the [n:ng] contrast 
is in fact phonemic in English. Not so in Loglan. The [ng]-sound does not occur anywhere else in 
Loglan except as a g/k-preceding allophone of the phoneme n. 

The fact that there is no [ng] phoneme in Loglan will put loglanists with names like Y oung in a 
guandary. They will be obliged to choose among three not very handsome alternatives: [yuhn], 
which is spelled Iyn; [yuhngk], which is spelled Iynk (and rhymes with 'junk'); and a word 
spelled Iyng but pronounced [yuhngg], in which the second [g] is the hard 'g' of 'get', and rhymes 
with what 'bungle' would sound like if the '-le' sound at the end were left off.. .a common 
pronunciation of Y oung', in fact, in New Y ork City. The last alternative looks best because it 
would be spelled Iyng. But unfortunately it cannot correctly be pronounced [yuhng]. On the 
other hand, German [YUHNG -krr] spelled 'Junker' can be exactly reproduced as Iynkr; for in 

the German word the [ng] allophone of n is called for by the following k. There is still more on 
transcribing natural names into Loglan in Section 2.15 . 

Finally, the seventeen regular consonants may be classified in a way that will be useful when we 
come to consider the pronounceability of adjacent pairs of them in the unbuffered dialects of the 
language. Crucial for this guestion is whether the consonant has a vocalic allophone or not that 
is, whether it can be sustained in full musical voice like a vowel. If it does, it is called a 
continuant. There are four of these continuants in Loglan: the two nasals, m and n and the two 
liguids, 1 and r. Because any of these four consonants can be given a vowel- like guality, any of 
them may be pronounceably paired with any other consonant. Also, they are very useful in 
respelling foreign names taken from languages, like English, which happen to exploit this vowel- 
like potential of their continuants. For example, the sound spelled 'er' in the American 
pronunciation of 'Robert' is a vocalic /r/; so the Loglan transcription of American 'Robert' is 
Rabrt. The first r in this word is a consonant and it will be represented in the guides as [r]. But 
the second r is really a vowel. To show the difference between the two values of Loglan r in the 
pronunciation guides, we will write the vocalic r as [rr]... rather as one might record a dog's 
growl in a children's story as 'Grrr!' Thus the pronunciation of the Loglan word Rabrt is [RAH- 
brrt]. There is an ordinary r in first place and a "growly r" in second. 

Each of the four continuants has two such allophones in Loglan, one of which might be called 
the consonantal, and the other the vocalic version of its sound. The consonantal version of a 
continuant will always be represented by the letter itself in the pronunciation guides, thus as [m n 
r 1]; the vocalic version by the doubled letter: [mm nn rr 11]. This explains why the English names 
'Earl', 'Myrtle' and 'Burton' will seem to have no vowels at all when they are rewritten in Loglan: 
Rl, Mrtl and Brtn. But when we write out the pronunciation guides for these words, we get [RR- 
11], [MRR-tll] and [BRR-tnn]; and now we see that they do have vowels, namely the continuants 
used as vowels. There is a spelling option in Loglan that will make this feature plain if we want 
to use it. We can double the continuant letter when its value in a word is vocalic... just as we do in 
the guides. Thus Rrll, Mrrtll and Brrtnn are egually legitimate ways of spelling these three 
natural words in Loglan.- 

The thirteen remaining consonants have no vocalic values. Twelve of them may be further 
divided into the voiced series, b v d z g j, and the unvoiced series, p f t s k c. Voice is the guality 
a consonant acguires when its production is accompanied by the vibration of the vocal chords. 
(The presence or absence of voice can be sensed by placing the tips of your fingers on your 
larynx, or Adam's apple, as you speak. For example, you may notice that the vibration due to 
voice disappears when you whisper any normally voiced sound.) All vowels and all continuants 
are, of course, voiced; but only half of the non-continuants are voiced. The other non- continuants 
are, in fact, whispered (i.e., voiceless) versions of the voiced series, as you can easily find out by 
trying to whisper the series b v d z g j . What you will actually produce by whispering is the 
unvoiced series p f t s k c. Thus each voiced non-vocalic consonant has an unvoiced eguivalent, 
and vice versa. The sound b is the voiced eguivalent of unvoiced p, v of unvoiced f, d of 
unvoiced t, and so on. This principle will be useful when we come to consider the 
pronounceability of certain consonant groups in constructing words. 

The aspirate h is the seventeenth regular consonant and has a unique distribution in the language. 
Since h is a burst of voiceless breath, it takes the acoustic shape of the following vowel. So h 
may only precede vowels. Its voiced companion, x, is not widely distributed in nature, and is one 
of the irregular sounds of Loglan. This is the group we will take up next. 

2.9 The Three Irregular Phonemes /q w x/ 

The three irregular sounds are q , w and x. They are used only in names and in some exceptional 
scientific words. For example, x is used in Xai-kre 'X-ray', and w is used in wlframo for 
'wolfram', the word for the chemical element-usually called 'tungsten' in English-for which the 
international symbol is W. These uses are typical. So they do not occur very frequently in the 

q [th] is the same sound as the English 'th' in 'thin', 'theta' and 'Thule'. Q is in fact the sound that 
is spelled with the letter theta ('a') in Greek. Capital 'Q' looks a little like capital '©' with the bar 
slipped down. The q-sound is represented by [6] in IPA. 

w [u] is the vowel represented by 'u' in French and by 'ii' (as in 'Munchen') in German. We will 
call it French 'u' and represent it by [eu] in the guides. Thus the odd word wlframo is 
pronounced [eulf-RAHM-oh] with a very French- or German- sounding 'u'. The IPA symbol for 
Loglan wis [y].- 

x [kh] is the voiced version of h; it is the "rough breath" of Greek and Russian, and the sound 
spelled with the letter chi ('X') in Greek. In fact our European letter 'X ' is derived from 'X'. X [kh] 
is also the sound represented by 'ch' in both German and Scottish. Thus Xai-kre is pronounced 
[KHIGH-uh-kreh], in which the [KH] is a very distinct but dry sort of gargle which will sound 
very Russian to you when you get it right. Notice that unlike h, x may precede as well as follow 
vowels. When [kh] does precede a vowel, as it does in Xai [khigh], it takes the acoustic shape of 
that vowel. Happily enough, the IPA for Loglan x is [x]. 

Two of the irregular phonemes are consonants and one, w, is a vowel. As noted, their chief use is 
in spelling scientific words like 'wolfram' and X -ray' that require that these letters be used if 
international conventions are to be obeyed. But a secondary and even more common use of the 
irregular letter-sounds is in respelling borrowed names. This is usually done in preparation for 
importing them into Loglan. Thus q may be used to transcribe English 'Theodore' faithfully as 
Qiydor [THEE-uh-dawr], w to pronounce French 'Pasteur' in the French way as Pastw'r [pahs- 
TEUR], and x to render German 'Bach' precisely as Bax [bahkh]. Russian 'Kruschev' may be 
approximately rendered as Xrustcyf [KHROOS-chuhf]. In general, we loglanders try to 
pronounce foreign names in ways which are as much like the originals as our kit of letter-sounds 
will allow. But when we have respelled a name in a way that gives us as good an approximation 
as possible, we then pronounce it in a Loglan way. Thus phonetically, Russian 'Kruschev' is 
[KHROOS-chawf]. But we have no [aw] phoneme in Loglan. We have the sound but it is an 
allophone of Loglan o, namely the value o has after r and i. So if we wrote 'Kruschev' as 
Xrustcof we would be obliged to pronounce it as [KHROOS-chohf], which I judge to be farther 
from the original than [KHROOS-chuhf] is. In a simpler case, one must choose between [jeem] 
and [jem]; for there is no [jihm]. 

2.10 Stress 

Stress is an increase in the length, pitch or loudness of a syllable relative to other syllables in the 
same word or utterance. Three levels of stress are phonemic in Loglan: zero, light and heavy (or 
emphatic) stress. In general, light stress is used to accent the syllables of words and heavy stress 
to emphasize some words in some sentences. Zero or no stress usually characterizes strings of 
monosyllabic words in Loglan and provides the monotonic background against which the tunes 
of light and heavy stress are played. 

If we look at the stress- privileges of the syllables comprising Loglan words, we find that they fall 
into three exclusive classes: (i) those that are always- stressed, whether lightly or heavily; (ii) 
those that are never- stressed; and (iii) those that are sometimes- stressed (and sometimes 
unstressed). The always-stressed syllables are the penultimate, or next to the last, syllables of a 
certain form-class of Loglan words called "predicates", which we will define in Section 2.16 . 
The never- stressed syllables are all the other syllables of predicate words; and the sometimes- 
stressed syllables are all the syllables of all the non-predicate words in the language.— We shall 
make use of these stress-classes again when we discuss how the various types of words are 
resolved in speech. 

In the pronunciation guides to spoken Loglan we will write unstressed syllables in lower case 
letters (e.g., [leh-toh] for le to = 'the two'), lightly stressed syllables in capital letters (e.g., [leh- 
toh-MREH-noo] for le to mrenu = 'the two men'), and emphatically stressed syllables in bold- 
face capitals; e.g., [leh-toh-ZHOON-tee-MREH-noo] for letojunti mrenu = 'the two young 
men'; and, as in English, we will underline the emphasized word in text. Later on we will replace 
these phonetic guides with phonemic transcriptions in which the same stress conventions will 
apply. For example, /leto/, /letoMREnu/ and /letoJUNtiMREnu/ transcribe the same spoken 
strings phonemically, that is, as a string of phonemes. In these more compact transcriptions of 
Loglan speech we will pay less attention to the sounds of individual phonemes and more to the 
contours of stress and pause that shape the phoneme stream. But obviously you will need to 
know more about how the phonemes themselves are produced in their various settings before 
these phonemic transcriptions will be of much use to you. So for a while longer we will attempt 
to convey the audible rhythms of Loglan speech through these longer, but phonetically more 
informative, pronunciation guides. 

A word about pauses.. .or rather, about pauselessness. In normally rapid speech in all languages, 
there are no pauses between words. Pauses, when they do occur, are usually grammatically or 
morphologically significant. So when the normal pronunciation of a Loglan utterance can be 
expected to be pauseless, we shall omit the spaces between words in both kinds of transcription, 
as in fact we have done in all the transcriptions given above. Thus as normally spoken The two 
young men' and Le to junti mrenu are pauseless "blurts" of sound in both languages. This fact is 
better conveyed about Loglan by /letoJUNtiMREnu/ than by [leh-toh-ZHOON-tee-MREH-noo], 
with its more languid marking of syllable joints, just as ThetwoyoungMEN' would bring the 
pauselessness of normal English to the reader's attention much more dramatically than The-two- 
young-MEN' would. But the present advantage of a clearly syllabified pronunciation guide is 
that it shows the English- speaker exactly how each Loglan syllable is to be produced. Y ou will 
find this kind of phonetic detail useful for a while longer. If you use this information well, you 

will soon be able to listen to "good Loglan" coming from your own lips. This will speed up your 
learning immeasurably. 

When a pause does occur in Loglan speech we will represent it by a period (full-stop) '.' in both 
kinds of transcription. Thus [leh-TOH . ZHOON-tee-MREH-noo] and/leTO . JUNtiMREnu/ 
both show that, when the number word in Le to junti mrenu is stressed, a pause must follow it. 
The same stress- pause pattern often occurs after emphasized words in English: The two (pause) 
young men'. While variable in English, this is guite a general rule in Loglan. No stressed syllable 
may be allowed to precede a predicate unless there is an intervening pause. There is more on this 
in Section 2.14 . 

The phrase Le to junti mrenu happens to contain instances of all three stress- classes of Loglan 
syllables. Thus Le and to are sometimes- stressed monosyllables. Indeed, as we have just seen, to 
may either be emphasized or left completely unstressed. The first syllables jun- and mre- of 
junti and mrenu are, in contrast, instances of the always- stressed penultimate syllables of 
predicate words. And the final syllables -ti and -nu of these same two disyllables are instances of 
never- stressed syllables. Thus the emphatic pronunciation of junti is not */JUNTI/ (the leading 
asterisk indicates that the seguence so-marked is impermissible) but /JUNti/. 

2.11 Pause 

There is only one pause phoneme in Loglan although it has many allophones. As mentioned in 
the previous section, pauses are represented by [.], [ . ] or/./ in the guides and transcriptions. 
They are also sometimes marked in text by commas (,) or periods (.), and sometimes not marked 
at all in written Loglan. For example, pauses are reguired before all connectives and after all 
names; and pauses in these two contexts are marked by commas. Thus, the connective [eh] 
('and') in [leh-MREH-noo . eh-leh-BOHT-shee], a phrase which means 'The man (pause) and the 
boy', is not only preceded by an obligatory pause, but that pause is marked by a comma in 
writing: thusle mrenu, e le botci. Similarly, all names are separated from their seguelae by 
pauses; and except in the middle of a serial name (Djan Pol Djonz), such post- nominal pauses 
are also regularly marked by commas. Thus, we say [lah-JAHN . MREH-noo] for 'John (pause) 
is a man' in speech; and we write this sentence as La Djan, mrenu in text. We also say [lah-jahn 
. pohl . JOHNZ . MREH-noo]; but we write La Djan Pol Djonz, mrenu, celebrating only the 
last of those pauses in text. Thus both connectives and names are rather special words in the 
Loglan utterance, and the flow of speech is always broken-even if briefly- before the former and 
after the latter. 

Another, even longer pause normally occurs between the utterances in an extended speech. Thus 
[YAH . ee-mee-KEESH-moo] really consists of two utterances. The little word [YAH], spelled 
la, which means Y es' in the sense of Y es, that's true' or Y es, I agree with you', is the first of the 
two utterances. (Though a single word, la is an utterance because it sends a potentially complete 
message. That is, the speaker could have stopped with la, but chooses not to.) The second 
utterance is [mee-KEESH-moo], spelled Mi kicmu, means 'I'm a doctor'. These two independent 
remarks are joined by the "utterance connective" [ee]-which is of course spelled I-and this 
important word is sometimes translated into loglanized English as And' with a capital A'. Of 
course the word I, like all connectives, is reguired to be preceded by a pause. But the I- 

connective signals an even greater break in the flow of ideas than connectives between words 
and clauses do. So I (and its numerous kin) is always preceded by a period or full stop (.) in text. 
Thus we make this little speech [YAH . ee-mee-KEESH-moo] ; in which the pause is just another 
Loglan pause. But we write la. I mi kicmu with a period (.), rather than a comma before the I. 
This textual mark has the same grammatical significance as the full stop between sentences in 
English has; that is to say, between any pairs of them, things should parse. In literal translation- 
by which I mean word-for-word, or word-for-phrase, translation- la. I mi kicmu would come 
out Y es. And I am-a-doctor.' Notice that it takes an English phrase to render that one word 
kicmu. We will learn why in the next chapter. 

Some allophones of the Loglan pause phoneme do not appear as anything but the standard 
interverbal space in writing. We have already mentioned that the pauses that occur between the 
parts of a serial name are not marked with commas in text; for example, 'John Jones' is 
pronounced [jahn . JOHNZ] but written Djan Djonz. If a serial name were spoken without a 
pause, the listener would hear it as a single word and write it as one: Djandjo'nz. So the 
interverbal spaces in serial names are, in a sense, acknowledgement enough that there are pauses 
there. The pauses reguired before vowel-initial words that are not connectives are similarly 
invisible in text. Thus, the space between the otherwise adjacent /a/s in the phrase la Aili'n ('the- 
one- named Eileen') is marked by the briefest of pauses in speech, a "glottal stop": [lah.igh- 
LEEN]. But such pauses are unmarked in text: la Aili'n. The short pause in the phrase le iglu 
[leh.EEG-loo] ('the igloo') is similarly invisible. The pause used in nearly all these intervocalic 
contexts is a glottal stop. This is the sound-or rather, the brief absence of sound-that replaces 
intervocalic /t/ in some Northeastern dialects of American English.. .in Brooklyn [BAH.ll] for 
'bottle', for example. (Try pausing briefly instead of saying the /t/ of 'bottle' in order to hear your 
own glottal stop.) Glottal stops are always represented by "close periods" in the guides, i.e., by 
periods without spaces around them. 

All the pauses that we have discussed so far have been obligatory. They are always present in 
these contexts in faultless speech. There are some other contexts that call for obligatory pauses 
which we will encounter later. But let us now consider briefly the uses of optional pauses. 

If you think about it for a moment, you will realize that the joint between a pair of words in any 
language may be occupied by a pause but that no joint within a word should ever be. In fact, this 
is pretty close to being a satisfactory definition of what a word is: a word is any segment of 
speech that can be separated from other such objects by pauses, and within which pauses never 
occur correctly. Pauses may of course occur inside a word by accident or hesitation; but it is 
never correct to put one there. That is to say, it would not be correct to tell someone 
'"Never(pause)theless" is a word in English.' 

So let us agree that a speaker may pause at any word -juncture, as linguists call these "pausable" 
joints in the speech stream. It is the Loglan writing convention to represent any such intended 
use of an optional pause by a comma. What such commas mean is that the writer intends the 
reader who is reading aloud to pause at at least these places.. .possibly more. By this convention, 
we help preserve the isomorphism of the two forms of the language.. .including differences in 
individual phrasing styles. The main use of optional pauses (and the commas that go with them) 
is, of course, as phrasing pauses: those breaks in the flow of speech or text which allow the 

speaker or writer to gather up the threads of what he or she has just been saying, and to make 
plans to say more. Judiciously placed , such pauses also allow the listener/reader to knit up what 
he or she has just heard or read; and this of course readies him or her to hear more. So pauses are 
a reasonably important part of the listening/speaking interaction, just as commas are in the 
reading/writing act. 

Note that since pauses may be used at any juncture, they may be used at every juncture in a given 
utterance. Thus nothing prevents us from saying [leh . MREH-noo . eh . leh . BOT-shee] to help 
a novice hear the words in what we are saying. But if we do speak that way, or intend what we 
write to be read aloud in that fashion, then convention reguires that we mark all the pauses in 
such didactic sentences with commas when we write them down. Thus Le, mrenu, e, le, botci is 
the textual eguivalent of the above utterance. What is "not allowed" --that is, what would be 
counted as an error-is pausing inside a word; for example, *[leh-MREH . noo-eh-leh-BOHT . 
shee]. This is of course exactly the kind of helpless hesitation that a newcomer to the language 
might easily fall into. ..especially one who hadn't acguired much confidence in his or her control 
of the vocabulary. Everyone except machines will be tolerant of such errors, of course. Indeed, 
we human listeners hardly hear them. It is an interesting fact about human listening that we 
correct other people's slips of speech so swiftly and automatically that we are often unaware that 
errors have occurred. Still, the point is that pausing inside a word can occasionally be genuinely 
misinforming to one's human listeners, and will probably always be so to even the most amiable 
of our machines. 

2.12 Intonation 

Most natural languages have more pause phonemes than Loglan's one. English, for example, has 
four pause phonemes, or "junctures" as they are often called. The reason Loglan can get by with 
just one is that, in natural languages, the many varieties of pauses are combined with the 
sentence-long rise and fall of musical pitch called intonation to produce composite effects that 
serve the same classifying function for the spoken tongue as punctuation marks do for the written 
form. They identify the varieties of utterances: guestions, declarations, imperatives, and so on. 
But, as we have already seen in the case of hyphens, commas, and full-stops, most Loglan 
punctuation marks are actually "spoken aloud". ..even if the "speaking" is a bit of silence. Thus 
the sound y is often a spoken hyphen, and the word I is like a spoken period in that it always 
calls for one in text. But there are also spoken guestion-marks, spoken parentheses, spoken 
guotation marks, and so on, in this language. This not only makes possible a very substantial 
isomorphism between the written and spoken forms of Loglan, it also permits the pause structure 
of the language to be very simple. 

A related simplification of Loglan phonology is that intonation, or the rise and fall of musical 
pitch that accompany most human sentences, is not phonemic in Loglan. Thus, whether a 
speaker accompanies a guestion with falling pitch, or with rising pitch, or with no pitch-change 
at all, is a matter of structural indifference in Loglan. All differences between sentence-types in 
Loglan- between its guestions, imperatives, declarations, and the like-are either marked with 
special grammatical patterns or by special punctuation- like words. For example, there are many 
guestion-asking words in Loglan, but the one that turns any statement into the kind of guestion 
that takes yes or no for an answer is the little word [eighee] spelled ei. Thus if [dah-MREH-noo] 

or Da mrenu means 'He is a man' ; as it does, then [EIGHEE-dah-MREH-noo] or Ei da mrenu 

means 'Is he a man? ('Eh, he's a man?'). But this question can be accompanied by any intonation 
contour whatever in Loglan, including a perfectly level (i.e., monotonic) one. 

Allowing tonal matters to vary freely over the full linguistic range of the native languages of its 
speakers may have the interesting consequence of making Loglan not only easier to learn- for 
intonation patterns are usually among the last features of a second language to be mastered by 
adults-but also remarkably expressive. For here is an entire dimension of language structure 
which may have been freed for non- structural purposes.. .for example, expressiveness. On the 
other hand, we may find that intonation is a biologically necessary part of the human speech 
performance.— In that case a structure of intonation will grow up redundantly in Loglan whether 
we design it or not. Either result would be scientifically interesting. 

Having completed our list of the sounds and sound contours that are, and are not, phonemic in 
Loglan we may now turn to the various forms of Loglan words. 

2.13 Three Kinds of Words 

A major distinction between the words of any language may be drawn between those relatively 
few, short but frequently used words that convey the grammatical structure of a sentence-words 
like 'the', 'of, 'is' and the various affixes of English like '-ing', '-ed', '-es', and so on-and the 
relatively numerous, but longer and less frequently used words that convey its particular 
referential content: words like 'cat', 'run', 'John', and 'democracy' in English. Let us call the first 
kind structure words, and the second content words. Occasionally we will call the simple 
structure words little words because all of them are. 

Content words always refer to something outside the sentence (That's a cat'); structure words 
seldom do. But this extralinguistic reference may be made in two quite different ways. It may be 
made by naming a unique person, place or thing-many capitalized words like 'John', 'France', or 
'Democracy' do this work in English (That's John')-or by predicating some property of it-which 
means ascribing to it some feature-that may, in principle, be shared by many things: 'cat', 'run', 
'blue' and 'democracy' with a small 'd' (That's a cat'). Let us call the first type of content words 
names, and the second, predicates. 

Every content word is either a name or a predicate. We are using the word 'predicate' to refer to 
the second and largest category of Loglan content words, and not more detailed grammatical 
labels like 'noun', Verb', 'adjective', 'adverb', and so on, because one of the most surprising things 
about Loglan grammar is that no sharp distinction can be drawn in it between these several ways 
of ascribing properties to things. The word 'predicate' suggests their common grammatical role, 
even in English. It happens also to be the word favored by logicians to describe the general class 
of property-ascribing words. 

Summing up, we have three main classes of words in Loglan: structure words, names, and 
predicates. We are about to see that each has an exclusive set of permissible word-forms. These 
have been devised in such a way that any word may be classified by the listener from its shape 

2.14 Structure Words 

Structure words are relatively few in number but among the most frequently used words in any 
language. They also tend to be among its shortest. Thus, the shortest words in English-- 'a' ; 'an' ; 
'of' ; 'to' ; 'if, 'so' ; and so on-are all structure words. This is also true in Loglan. Words composed 
of single vowels like e [eh] (V-form words), of vowel pairs like ia [yah] (VV-form words), of a 
consonant followed by a single vowel like le [leh] (CV-form words), and of a consonant 
followed by a pair of vowels like sui [swee] (CVV-form words) are all structure words in 
Loglan. All such monosyllabic structure words are called little words. They have the following 
linguistic formula: 


Elements contained in parentheses are optional, i.e., may occur one or zero times. Thus e ('and'), 
ia ('yes'), le ('the') and sui ('also') represent the four permissible forms of little words. 

Compound structure words are formed by combining two or more little words in some order. 
Thus leva ('that') is made from le + va ('the' + 'there') and anoi ('if') is made from a + noi ('or' + 
'not'). So compound little words have the formula: 

(C)V(V) [(C)V(V)] 

Here the square brackets mean 'one or more instances of (whatever is enclosed)'. In general, 
compound little words are the less frequently used structure words of a language. For example, 
'nevertheless' and 'howsoever' are relatively infrequently used structure words in English; and not 
surprisingly they are compounds of simpler English words. Loglan also has a few such 
polysyllabic monsters. For example, [pah-sheh-NOY-nah] orpacenoina means literally 'before- 
and-not-now' and translates the claim of English 'no longer' quite precisely. Similarly, [soo- 
TAWR-ree] or sutori means literally 'at-least-two-th'. It is derived from su = 'at least', to = 'two', 
and -ri, the general ordinal suffix (hence '-th'); and so is an elegant rendering of that awkward 
phrase 'second and subsequent' that we need so frequently in talking about Loglan. For brevity 
compound little words are sometimes called simply compounds. Thus there are two kinds of 
structure words: little words and the compounds made from them. 

There are few phonological restrictions on the formation and use of structure words in Loglan. 
For example they may be stressed or unstressed as the speaker chooses. Moreover, every 
possible pairing of the 17 regular consonants with the 5 main vowels, a e i o u, is permitted in 
the CV- and CVV-form words. Also, every possible combination of the main vowels with each 
other is permitted in VV- and CVV-form words. But the 25 vowel-pairs so generated fall into 
three distinct classes on the basis of how they are pronounced. 

The Four Monosyllables: ai ao ei oi are always monosyllabic. These are the four natural 
diphthongs that occur monosyllabically in most languages. In Loglan ai is invariably pronounced 
[igh] as in 'high', ao [ow] as in 'how', ei [ey] as in 'Hey!' and oi [oy] as in 'ahoy'. The [ey] of ei is 
sometimes written [eighee] in the guides to reveal its two component vowels more clearly. Thus 
ei starts with [eigh] and ends with [ee]; and there is a smooth transition or "glide" between them. 

All the monosyllabic vowel-pairs are glides in that sense: they start out being one vowel and end 
up another. Notice that three of the invariable monosyllables end with i. The fourth, ao [ow] ; is 
special. The way to remember the un-English spelling of [ow] is to think of Chairman Mao. In 
the word- formulas, a monosyllabic vowel-pair will be represented by Vv'. 

The Eleven Disyllables: aa ae au ea ee eo eu oa oe oo ou are always pronounced as two 
syllables. Either the first or second vowel may be stressed, but so long as they are unlike, neither 
need be. Either the first or second syllable of a doubled vowel (aa ee oo) must, however, be 
stressed. Thus aa is [AH-ah] or [ah-AH], but never *[ah-ah]. The pronunciations of the unlike 
pairs are given here with level stress, which is perhaps their most common stress contour: ae au 
[ah-eh ah-oo], ea eo eu [eigh-ah eigh-oh eigh-oo], oa oe ou [oh-ah oh-eh oh-oo]. A brief glide 
may occur between the two vocalic syllables, but not a glottal stop. The latter would cause the 
resolver to perceive a word-juncture between the two vowels. Some of these vowel pairs- 
especially oo and ee-look like English monosyllables but are not ([OH-oh] and [EIGH-eh]). 
Fortunately for English- trained eyes, these last two pairs are rare. Notice that it is always the 
prevocalic allophone of e-the [eigh] of 'late' 'freight' and 'sate'-that is called for when e is in first 
position in any of these words, while it is the primary allophone [eh] that is always called for in 
second position. In the formulas, a disyllabic vowel- pair will be represented by VV. 

The Ten Optional Disyllables: ia ie ii io iu ua ue ui uo uu are normally and preferably 
pronounced as monosyllables but may occasionally be spoken as disyllables. When one of these 
optionals is difficult for some speaker to produce as a monosyllable, he or she may opt to spread 
its sounds out over two syllables. This is especially tempting for the learner when the vowel- pair 
comes after any of the vocalic consonants mnlr. Thus while [mwee] [nwee] [lwee] and [rwee] 
are all possible pronunciations of mui nui lui and rui-these are all very brisk sounds and have 
rather a French air-[MOO-ee] [NOO-ee] [LOO-ee] and [ROO-ee] are easier for the newcomer 
to Loglan to produce and also permitted. Note that all the optional disyllables commence with 
either i [y] or u [w]. The i- initial series ia ie ii io iu is pronounced monosyllabically as [yah yeh 
yee yoh yoo] and disyllabically as [EE-ah EE-eh EE-ee EE-oh EE-oo]. The u-series ua ue ui uo 
uu is pronounced monosyllabically as [wah weh wee woh woo] and disyllabically as [OO-ah 
OO-eh OO-ee OO-oh OO-oo]. In the word-formulas the optionals are represented by either 'vv' 
or VV depending on how they are actually being pronounced. 

In rapid speech the stress in compound little words is usually level; that is, there is no 
distinctively stressed syllable. On the infreguent occasions when there is one, it is usually 
penultimate, the second from the last syllable. Any order of V-, VV-, CV- or CVV-form 
segments is permissible in a compound except that V -form segments may only be initial or 
follow a Cvv-form (monosyllabic) three-letter segment. Thus [AH-tigh] Atai = a +tai, [ah- 
TEIGH-oh] Ateo = a + teo, and [TIGH-ah] Taia = tai + a are all permissible compounds; and 
because they are all acronyms, that is, guasi- predicates, they are all penultimately stressed. But 
*Teoa [teigh-OH-ah] is not permissible. If it were, it could be heard either as the phrase te oa or 
as a compound derived from teo + a; and that would be ambiguous. The limited distribution of 
V-form segments in compounds prevents that ambiguity from arising; and [teigh-OH-ah] in fact 
resolves as the phrase te oa. 

A second rule-one that we have already seen at work-is that any V-initial word, whether it is a 
structure word or not must be preceded by a pause.. .usually, a glottal stop. Thus in both [lah.igh- 
LEEN] La Ailin = '(The one named) Eileen' and [leh-MREH-noo . ah-noy-leh-BOHT-shee] Le 
mrenu, anoi le botci = The man (pause) if the boy', the pauses in the two Loglan utterances are 
both obligatory. Only the second is marked with a comma, however. 

A third rule- also mentioned previously- is that if any emphatically stressed syllable immediately 
precedes a predicate, the two words must be separated by a pause. Thus [leh-VAH . MREH-noo] 
Leva mrenu = That (pause) man' and [leh-VAH-teh-MREH-noo] Leva te mrenu = 'Those three 
men'; but not *[leh-VAH-MREH-noo]. (Again, the '*' indicates an impermissible form.) This 
rule prevents a terminally accented structure word from becoming part of the following predicate 

2.15 Names 

In all languages spoken by peoples with freguent contact with other peoples, proper names are 
phonologically irregular. Thus neither 'Constantinople' nor 'Robert' was originally an English 
word. This will be emphatically true in Loglan. Loglan is a culturally neutral language. Its job is 
to reproduce the products of a great diversity of human cultures as faithfully as possible, 
including their proper names. So nearly all Loglan names are linguistic borrowings from the 
natural languages most closely associated with the things named. Thus 'France' is [frahns] 
spelled F rans in Loglan and 'England' is [EENG-gluhnd] spelled Inglynd; but 'Germany' is 
[DOYTSH-lahnt] and spelled Doitclant. For we are obliged to follow the phonetic habits of the 
Germans, not the English, in giving the country of the Germans its Loglan name. Doitclant 
illustrates still another point. The German word is 'Deutschland'. But since Loglan spelling is 
phonemic, and that of few natural languages is, we must follow the pronunciation of the natural 
word rather than its spelling when the two diverge.— And [DOYTSH-lahnt] is in fact the way a 
German would pronounce this German word. 

There are, of course, certain "universal" objects, or at least non-local ones, on which no language 
has a special claim. These, like the Sun and the Moon, the days of the week, and the months of 
the year, are usually named in Loglan by using simple constructions based on widely shared 
roots, e.g., [sohl] Sol and [loon] Lun. The CVC-form turns out to be an attractive formula for 
these constructed name-words, and its use has introduced a modicum of regularity into the 
otherwise riotous phonology of Loglan names.— 

Yet even the most imitative Loglan names are regular in one way. You may have noticed that all 
Loglan names end in consonants and that no other Loglan words do. This is no accident. That 
final consonant serves to distinguish Loglan names in the speech-flow. The convention is that if 
the natural name does not end in a consonant, the Loglan version is provided with a final s. Thus 
the Romans' name for Rome is 'Roma', so the Loglan word is [ROHM- ahs] Romas. (Not Rom, 
by the way; for this blunt English monosyllable would offend the Roman ear far more than the 
addition of the sibilant s to their graceful disy liable.) The Italian word for Italy is 'Italia', so the 
Loglan word is [ee-TAHL-yahs] Italias. Mary's English name in Loglan phonetic transcription is 
[MEH-ree]; in Loglan phonemes this is /MEri/; so her Loglan name is [MEHR-ees] Meris. And 
so on. Sometimes a happy accident occurs. The French pronunciation of 'Paris' is [paa-REE]. 

(Recall that the [aa] I've used in this guide is the French and Spanish 'a' of 'la'. It is more tense 
and higher- pitched than the Germanic [ah] of 'father' and 'Vater'. [aa] and [ah], then, are 
dialectical variants of Loglan a and you may use either one. But if one can ; one prefers to 
pronounce the capital of France in a French way.) Phonemically, [paa-REE] is /paRI/. Adding 
final s to it produces Paris again, but the word may now be stressed in the French way: [paa- 
REES]. Since stressing a word on its final syllable is not a standard Loglan move- -standard stress 
in all types of words is penultimate in Loglan-the non-penultimately stressed vowel must be 
marked in the written form so that other loglanists will pronounce it as the maker intended. We'll 
follow the Spanish custom of marking unexpected stresses. But rather than use an accent mark 
we'll use the typographically simpler apostrophe after the abnormally stressed vowel. So the final 
rewriting of French 'Paris' in Loglan is Pari's.— In copying the stress, at least, and perhaps the 
French [aa] as well- not to mention the uvular Parisian Y which we loglanists would also regard 
as an acceptable variation of r in such contexts-we acknowledge the prior phonological claim of 
the source language. 

Just as abnormal stress can be preserved in names, so can abnormal syllabification. Take the 
name Lois'. In English the word is distinctly two-syllables: [LOH-ihs]. (The [ih] in the guide 
stands for the non-Loglan sound of 'i' in 'this', 'miss' and 'Jim'.) But if, as before, we decide that 
Loglan i gives the best approximation to non-Loglan [ih] and write Lois, we come face to face 
with the rule that oi is one of the "invariable monosyllables", and so must be pronounced [oy]. 
Whence unmarked Lois will be pronounced [loyss], and will rhyme, unhappily, with Joyce'. To 
avoid this fairly large distortion of a natural name we use another diacritical mark, this time a 
close-comma, that is, a comma without the usual following space. Now when we write Lo,is, the 
close-comma will mark a syllable break. So to any Loglandical reader, the correct pronunciation 
of Lo,is will be [LOH-ees] as desired. Note that if we had accepted e [eh] as the best 
approximation of English [ih], as many English-speakers are inclined to do, then Loes would 
automatically be pronounced disyllabically as [LOH-ess] and would need no mark. Oe is one of 
the invariable disyllables; so no close-comma would be reguired. In general, close-commas are 
used as sparingly as possible. When there are no close-commas in a name, the default convention 
for any string of vowels is to pair from the right. Thus unmarked Uaos syllabifies as /U,aos/ and 
is pronounced [OO-owss]. If the pronunciation [WAH-ohss] had been intended, one would have 
spelled the name Ua,os.- 

Note that after all attempts at good approximation have been made, the resulting name- word is a 
Loglan word composed of Loglan phonemes, and so must be pronounced in a Loglan way. Thus 
the closest Loglan approximation of the English word Jim' is probably Djim. But, since there is 
no [ih] in Loglan this word must be pronounced [jeem], not [jihm]. Alternatively, Jim might 
choose [jem] Djem for his Loglan name. In either case, there will be some distortion. Distortion 
is, of course, guite natural. In fact whenever a word from one language is taken into another its 
sounds are likely to be distorted in some way. 

Any name that is not final in a sentence must be followed by a pause. This reguirement, like the 
final consonant which it thereby isolates, helps names to be heard as such in the flow of speech. 

Apart from adding final s when necessary, marking non- penultimate stresses and abnormal 
syllable breaks with apostrophes and close-commas respectively, and finding good 

approximations in the Loglan phoneme set to the phonemes of the natural name, there are no 
phonological restrictions on names beyond the modest ones that they be at least two phonemes in 
length and be followed by a pause. So the formula for Loglan names is very simple: 

[V/C]C . 

This means that any seguence of one or more consonants or vowels, however long and in 
whatever order, if followed by a consonant followed by a pause, is a permissible Loglan name. 
Thus both Rl ('Earl') and Ibn Saud [EE-bnn . SAH-ood] are permissible Loglan names but Babi 
('Bobby') isn't. [BAH-bee], in fact, will be heard by any loglanist as the pair of little words ba bi 
('something is...'). 

We have already noted that any syllable of a name word may be stressed or unstressed in any 
way that reflects the conventions of the language of origin. Therefore names, like structure 
words, may be thought of as composed of sometimes- stressed syllables. 

2.16 Predicate Words 

Predicate words form the bulk of the vocabulary of any language. About 90% of most 
dictionaries is composed of them. They range in English from short, freguently used words, like 
'egg', 'run' and 'boy', to very long, seldom-used (and usually short-lived) technical predicates like 
'antidisestablishmentarianism'. In Loglan, too, predicate words vary in length from short words 
like iglu [EEG-loo] to long technical borrowings like trifenilmethani [tree-feh-neel-met-HAH- 
nee] ('triphenylmethane'), the only reguirement being that they have all the properties of a Loglan 
predicate. There are five of these:- 

1. Predicates must be vowel- final. They share this property with structure words. It distinguishes 
them absolutely from names. 

2. Predicates must contain at least one pair of adjacent unlike consonants, a CC. This 
distinguishes them from structure words. 

3. Predicates must have at least two syllables. Thus glu and drei (pronounced [gloo] and [drey]) 
have the first two reguirements but not the third. So they may not be predicates. If monosyllables 
were allowed to be predicates, they would steal any stressed syllable that preceded them, and 
grow into other predicates. Thus [gloo] would steal [EE] and become [EE-gloo] iglu; [drey] 
would steal [SHEE] and become [SHEE-drey] cidrei. 

4. Predicates must be penultimately stressed. This, as we have seen, is the Loglan standard for 
polysyllabic words. All unmarked names and many compound structure words also follow this 
standard. But in predicates, penultimate stress is invariable. 

5. Each predicate must be uniquely resolvable as a single word. 

What the last property means is that anyone who wants to add a new predicate to Loglan must 
first make certain that it does not break up into smaller words. Thus, just as *Babi won't do for a 

Loglan name because it is not C-final and breaks up as ba bi, so *neutroni [neigh-oo-TROH- 
nee] won't do as the Loglan predicate for 'neutron' because it breaks up as neu troni. Also, the 
builder must make certain that the new word is not capable of attaching itself to other words in 
its neighborhood. For example, *proa [PROH-ah] won't do as the word for 'proa' because it will 
steal any unstressed CV-word that happens to precede it. Thus te *proa [tep-ROH-ah] will be 
heard as teproa, which is a predicate, alright, but not the one intended.- 

How to make Loglan words that will resolve as you intend them to is a matter that belongs 
properly to Chapter 6. There we will consider word- making and all its joys and hazards. But in 
this chapter we are concerned only with correctly- built words, in particular, with how well-made 
ones may be separated from one another in the speech stream. 

One kind of information we'll need to do this is whether a particular consonant- pair may be 
initial in a word or not. The rules say that at least one CC must reside in every predicate. It is 
easy to detect CC's in the speech stream, but as an English- speaker you will find it practically 
impossible to tell whether the one you're hearing can be initial in its predicate or not.. .not, that is, 
until you've become familiar with the Loglan set of permissible initials. The complete set of 
permissibly initial consonant pairs is given in Table 2.1 . 

Table 2.1 The 36 Permissible Initial C onsonant Pairs 

























c- ck cl cm en cp cr ct 

d- dj dr dz 






s- sk si sm sn sp sr st 

t- tc tr ts 


z- zb zv 

Any CC that is not in this set cannot be initial in a Loglan word. We'll call the complement of the 
tabled set the impermissible initials. 

Sixteen of these pairs do not occur initially in any English word. Y et none of them is particularly 
difficult for an English-speaker to produce. For example, the c-initial series ck cl cm en cp cr ct, 
which, with added [uh], become [shkuh shluh shmuh shnuh shpuh shruh shtuh], do not occur in 
English; but all occur in German and are surprisingly easy for us English-speakers to pronounce. 

Having found that out why not try the other foreign- looking pairs? Try dz in [DZOH-soh] dzoso 
('soap'), jm in [ZHMEE-teh] jmite ('meet'), mr in [MREH-noo] mrenu ('man') which you 
already know, sr in [SREE-teh] srite ('write'), ts in [TSEHR-oh] tsero ('error'), vl in [VLAH- 
koh] vlako ('lake'), vr in [VRAH-noh] vrano ('liver'), zv in [ZVOH-toh] zvoto ('out/outside of) 
and zb in [ZBOO-mah] zbuma ('explode'). You may have been surprised to learn that, while 
these words may look odd to you, they are not at all odd for your English- trained ears and tongue 
to hear or say. ..despite their unmistakably Slavic ring. 

You may well ask how Loglan acguired such a formidable set of permissible initials.. .far larger, 
for example, than the English set. Certainly this is strange for a vowel-rich language, as Loglan 
very largely is. The reason is simple. In order to build as much cross-cultural recognizability into 
Loglan primitive predicates as possible, the phonological features of many guite different 
language groups had to be combined in deriving its primitive words. For there are Slavic, 
Germanic, Oriental, Indie and Romance languages in the source set. For example, vl is common 
in Russian; and the pair dz is guite common in Chinese. The Loglan word for 'go' is largely made 
from English 'go' and Chinese 'dzou', and came out [GOHD-zee] godzi. So it is the very 
internationality of Loglan's word-sources that has led to its very wide range of permissible 

Table 2.2 The Impermissible Medial Consonant Pairs 

Any pair of consonants C1C2 is permissible in the middle of a word unless they are one of the 


Ci=C 2 


Ci ish 


Ci is the unvoiced variant of C2 


Ci is in /p t k f/ and C2 is in /j z/ 


Both are in the set /c s j z/ 


They are *bj or*sb. 

Consonant- pairs which occur in the middle of words ("permissible medials") are much less 
restricted, of course. They are defined by means of their complement set, the impermissible 
medials, in Table 2.2 . We will not need to use this information until we consider matters of 
word- building in Chapter 6. But the permissible and impermissible initials are critically involved 
in word resolution, which is the topic we will take up in Section 2.20 . 

The general formula for predicates is a trifle complicated; but the interested reader will find it in 
the chapter notes.- 

2.17 The Varieties of Predicates 

There is one variety of Loglan predicates we can dispose of immediately. These are the 
numerical, logical or alphabetical words ("acronyms") which are used grammatically as 
predicates but are morphologically indistinguishable from structure words. These include the 
mathematical predicates, the ordinals and cardinals like English 'first' and 'dyad' which are 
[NEHR-ee] neri and [TAWR-ah] tora in Loglan; the acronymic predicates like 'DNA' which is 
[digh-NIGH-ah] or DaiNaiA in Loglan; and the identity predicates of which the prototype is bi 
[bee]. Bi is the 'is' of identity, as in [lah-JAHN . bee-let-see-TOH-ah] La Djan, bi le tsitoa = 
'John is the thief'.. .a clear case of a predicate masguerading as a little word. All words like bi ; 
neri and DaiNaiA are semantic predicates even though morphologically they are structure 
words. We will take up the construction of such little word predicates in Chapter 6 and their uses 
in the appropriate places of the grammar chapters. But we will not be concerned with them any 
longer in this one. 

Of morphologically recognizable predicates- that is, of the words that have the properties 
described in the previous section-there are three distinct types: primitives, complexes and 
borrowings. Let us consider these important divisions of the predicate vocabulary one at a time. 

Primitives are the fundamental building blocks of predicate meaning in any language. They are 
the 'dog' and 'cat' and 'girl' and 'boy' words of any language, and are never derived from anything 
else in it. In Loglan, such words are always five letters long and they come in just two forms: the 
CCV'CV form of [MREH-noo] mrenu 'is a man' and the CV'CCV form of [FOOM-nah] fumna 
'is a woman'. Primitive predicates often have reduced or combining forms that we'll call affixes. 
These are usually shortened versions of the primitives themselves that appear as parts of longer 
words. Short affixes (there are longer ones) are three- letter forms like [mreh] spelled mre from 
mrenu and [foom] and [fwah], spelled fum and fua ; from fumna. The longer words constructed 
from these affixes are the complex predicates. 

Complexes are predicates that are composed entirely of affixes.— Thus [MRESH-lee] or mrecli 
means 'manly' or 'man-like' and is composed of two affixes: mre- from mrenu and -cU which 
comes from [SHLEE-kah] clika. Clika is also a primitive predicate and means 'is similar to' or 
'is like' something else in some respect. Thus, standing behind each complex there is a defining 
metaphor, in this case mrenu cUka or 'man-like'. In a similar fashion, the word for 'womanly' is 
derived from the phrase fumna clika or 'woman-like'. The word is [FWAHSH-lee] or fuacli 
because the preferred affix of fumna in this position is fua. We have already seen how 'eye- 
doctor' can be made from two affixes plus a separating hyphen: [MEH-kuh-kyoo] or mekykiu. 
In that complex, mek was derived from [MENG-kee] menki, which is the primitive for 'eye', and 
kiu from [KEESH-moo] kicmu, which is the primitive for 'doctor' or 'physician'. The metaphor 
behind the word for 'thief in Loglan is "criminal- taker". The word for 'crime' or 'criminal' is 
[TSEE-meh] tsime; its affix is [tsee] tsi. The word for 'take' is [TOHK-nah] tokna, its affix is 
[TOH-ah] toa. Thus you will not be surprised to learn that the word for 'thief is [tsee-TOH-ah] 
tsitoa, a word you have already seen. 

Borrowings are predicates that imitate words of similar meanings in other languages. If they are 
Loglan borrowings, they must have all the properties of a Loglan predicate- see Section 2.16 - 
but not be either primitive or complex. Formally, they are whatever is left over in the domain of 
predicates once the primitives and complexes have been accounted for. As you might imagine, 

that embraces a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The flexibility of Loglan borrowings is a 
deliberate design feature of the language. It allows good imitations of words from an extremely 
wide variety of source languages. For example, protoni is an excellent imitation of English 
'proton'; it is an even better one of Italian 'protoni'; and it meets all the other reguirements of a 
Loglan borrowing. 

Obviously a Loglan borrowing must never imitate a complex by resolving into affixes. For if it 
did, it would be treated by the "resolver"--your computer or some other unforgiving auditor-as 
that complex. That is to say, you couldn't borrow a word shaped like mekykiu and expect it to be 
heard by your fellow loglanists as anything but mek + y + kiu. But there is a sense in which 
borrowings may be shaped like primitives. For if a potential borrowing does look like a 
primitive--that is, if the natural word is already of either mrenu- or fumna-form, as the Swahili 
word 'simba' and the Aleut word 'parka' both are— it may be taken into the language anyway, but 
as something that is morphologically, at any rate, a primitive predicate. Thus, there are many 
borrowed words in Loglan that are morphologically not borrowings at all but primitives. These 
are labelled S-Prims in the dictionary when they are borrowed from science (e.g., [SHLAWR- 
roh] cloro for 'chlorine', [FLOOR-roh] fluro for 'fluorine'), I-Prims when they are local words 
that have recently become international (e.g., [FOOT-boh] futbo for '(a player of) international 
football' and [TEL-foh] telfo for 'telephone'), and N-Prims when they are still "native" to, or 
characteristic of, some local people or place, such as [PAHR-kah] parka for 'parka' and [SEEM- 
bah] simba for 'lion'. Collectively, these borrowed primitives are called single-source primitives 
to distinguish them from the composite primitives that are derived from multiple sources. The 
latter tend to be mosaics of natural fragments-mrenu and fumna are examples-while the 
former tend to be Loglan variants of an already widely-traveled single word (futbo). 

Let us consider briefly how borrowings are made. The full story will not be told until Chapter 6. 
But we need enough information now about borrowings to recognize them in the speech-flow. 
The loglanists aim in making a borrowing is, first, to satisfy him- or herself, and then The 
Loglan Institute, that the new concept should be made as a borrowing and not as a complex; and 
two, once the borrowing strategy has been decided upon, to make the best possible imitation of 
the source word, or family of source words, given the resources and limitations of Loglan 
morphology. Thus [proh-TOHN-nee] protoni and [et-HEEL-lee] ethili are both excellent 
borrowings because they are unmistakable members of the international sets of scientific words 
to which English 'proton' and 'ethyl' belong. On the other hand, [aht-HOHM-mee] athomi is not 
so good a member of the international family to which 'atom' belongs, although clearly it is a 
member of it. It is, for example, very similar to the Italian plural, which is 'atomi'. But athomi is 
the best we can do given the reguirement that each Loglan predicate must contain at least one 
consonant- pair. None of the natural words for 'atom' do. But without that inserted h, [ah-TOHM- 
mee], for example, would "fall apart" as the phrase a to mi; that is, it would appear to the listener 
to be that phrase. Thus the phoneme h is conventionally introduced into such borrowings to 
prevent them from falling apart. 

At the moment the international vocabulary of science and technology is being freely 
incorporated into Loglan by making scientific primitives and borrowings. Local food, tool, 
clothing and music words are also being freely borrowed, especially if their local names, like 
'kayak' and 'atyl-atyl'-yielding Loglan [kah-YAHK-hoo] spelled kaiakhu and [aht-LAHT-loo] 

spelled atlatlu--have already been appropriated by international scholarship. But the current 
policy of The Institute is to recommend that writers and translators working in areas other than 
science make the new words they require as complexes. Such policies will of course be subject 
to change as the language and its uses unfold. Institute policy is discussed as an aspect of word- 
making in Chapter 6. 

2.18 Affix Shapes 

Before we leave the topic of predicates we need to say a word about the affixes out of which 
complex predicates like m eky k iu and tsitoa are made. An understanding of the range of affix 
sizes and shapes is crucial for discovering whether a given predicate is a complex or not; and 
that, in turn, is crucial for recognizing a borrowing. For borrowings, the reader will recall, are 
just those predicates which are not of primitive shape and which do not resolve as complexes. 

Y ou may have noticed that there were three affix-shapes involved in the examples of complex 
predicates given above: the CCV-shape of mre and cli, the CVC-shape of fum and mek ; and the 
CVV-shape of fua and kiu. This is the complete set of "short", i.e., three-letter, affix forms. But 
four- and five- letter affixes are also derivable from any primitive. For example, the word for 'is a 
science of is [SEN-see] sensi; and any primitive may itself be the final affix in a complex, as in 
[tahr-SEN-see] tarsensi, which is the word for 'astronomy'. In this complex the three-letter affix 
tar comes from [TAHR-shee] tarci 'star'. In addition, the final vowel of any primitive may be 
replaced by y to produce a hyphenated four- letter form to be used in non- final positions. For 
example, [mreh-nuh-SHLEE-kah] mrenyclika is another and plainer form of mrecli 'man-like' 
in case a writer or a teacher should require its length or transparency. Furthermore, irregular 
affixes may be derived from any borrowing by simply dropping its final vowel or vowel- group. 
But all such irregular affixes must, like the four-letter ones derived from primitives, be attached 
to the rest of the word with the hyphen y [uh]. For example, the word [ah-oos-trr-ah-loh-peet- 
HEK-wee] austrralopithekui (notice the doubled continuant) is borrowed from the Linnaean 
genus name 'Australopithecus' and is a paleontological term meaning '(is an) australopithecine'. 
Suppose someone wanted to make an even finer-grained scientific complex from the idea '(is) 
australopithecine in form'. In scientific English the word 'australopithecoid' conveys this 
meaning. 'Form' is [FAWR-mah] forma in Loglan, and it has a CVV affix, [FO- ah] foa, which 
we are free to use in this position. So [ah-oos- trr-ah-loh-peet-heh-kuh-FOH-ah] 
austrralopithekyfoa is the desired word and says it all. This new word consists of exactly two 
affixes, one very long one derived from austrralopithekui by dropping its final vowel group 
(giving austrralopithek-), and one very short one derived from forma by dropping both its 
medial consonants (giving -foa); and the two are connected by the spoken hyphen y. The 
doubled continuant /rr/ in austrralopithek- does the same kind of work as inserted /h/ does: it is 
preventing the /au/ from falling off. 

This is not all of the morphology of predicates, but it is enough to take us a good way into this 
book. The primitive predicates of Loglan are found in Appendices B and C; their affixes may be 
looked up in Appendix D; a short list of scientific borrowings will be found as Appendix E; and 
a sample of complex predicates may be examined in Appendix F. 

2.19 Predicate Joints 

We must now consider what can happen at the joints of a complex predicate. Some types of 
joints between affixes are disallowed. For example, if a word- maker is planning to join a CVC- 
shaped affix to either a CVV-shaped affix (like fua) or a fumna-form primitive, but the C/C 
joint between them is not a permissible medial pair- the impermissible ones are shown in Table 
22--then that joint must be either hyphenated or avoided. It is this consideration that puts the y 
in mekykiu. It would also prevent us from making a word like *hap+balma (" happy-ball" ), 
because the p/b joint too, is disallowed by Table 2.2 . (Even in conditions of low noise, such 
pairings of an unvoiced sound followed by its voiced companion tend to be unintelligible. The 
pair reduces to its voiced member, in this case b; and what will be heard is ha balma.— ) 

Another type of joint is made when a CVC-form affix is joined to a CCV-form affix or to a 
CCV 'CV-form primitive. In either case this forms a C/CC-type joint such as those tabled in 
Table 2.3 . All such joints must be carefully checked against the proscribed forms found in that 
table, for a considerable number of them- nineteen, in fact-have been found to be unintelligible. 

Table 2.3 Unintelligibility at the C/C C Joint 

The following combinations are unintelligible and should be hyphenated or avoided: 

n/dj n/dz 
d/ts p/dz 

j/ts j/vr t/vl 


For example, suppose one was making the word for 'understand' in the sense of understanding 
the meaning of a sign. Suppose one was basing the construction on the metaphor "sign-know", 
which in Loglan is [SAHN-pah-JAHN-noh] spelled sanpa djano. An attractive pair of affixes 
from these two words is san+dja. But there is one problem. Even in conditions of virtually no 
noise the n/dj joint promptly reduces to dj in the ear of the listener, and therefore it is one of 
those proscribed by Table 2.3 . What would be heard if the n/dj joint were used is [SAH-jah] 
sadja. Sadja is a legitimately shaped word; but it is not the one intended. 

The correct move in this case is to use the saa affix of sanpa, and make the complex as [sah- 
AHD-jah] saadja. We shall consider such problems under word-making in Chapter 6. But the 
point here is that, as a conseguence of using Table 2.3 to check their C/CC-joints, word-makers 
will sometimes hyphenate these otherwise proscribed joints in their creations. Thus a word like 
[SAHN-nuh-jah] spelled sanydja could turn up in the language. 

Another thing that can happen at the joints of a complex is consonantal hyphenation. This 
happens when someone has built a complex from two CVV-form affixes like fua and saa. The 











preliminary result ?fuasaa, would have the form CVV+CVV, and so would be a word without a 
pair of adjacent consonants; and such a word could not be a predicate.— To turn such 
constructions into predicates, a consonantal hyphen- like infix must be used. We use the pair of 
continuants /r n/ for this purpose. The sound M is the primary allomorph of this hyphenating 
morpheme; it is used whenever the following consonant is not another /r/. The sound /n/ is its 
secondary and used only when the following consonant is III. An example of a word that might 
be made with this /r n/ hyphen is [BOUGH-rr-mough] spelled baormao. It is composed of bao + 
r + mao ; and bao and mao come from the metaphor bakso madzo, which means 'box-maker'. 
And baormao now has the consonant- pair that the resolver needs to recognize it as a predicate 

2.20 Resolving Words 

We commenced this chapter with the observation that the word- forms of Loglan are so regular 
that the boundaries between them can be guickly and easily sensed by a newcomer even if he 
hears no pauses. We suppose that this feature of the language, which no natural language shares 
but all approximate, will not only contribute to its usefulness as a laboratory instrument and 
perhaps also to its effectiveness as an interface between humans and their machines, but will also 
make it remarkably easy for adults to learn. Children, note, do not suffer so keenly from the 
word- boundary problem. Even in learning second languages they tend to learn words one at a 
time and in known sentence- frames. E.g., 'C'est la plume', 'C'est le chat', and so on. But to adult 
second- language learners, the way the speech stream of their new language either does or does 
not sort itself out into words is a crucially important fact about it. Let us now explore the process 
of determining word- boundaries in Loglan informally.— 

Suppose you hear the pauseless utterance 


Y our first job is translate what you hear into a stream of Loglan phonemes, a task that we predict 
you will soon be performing swiftly and automatically. Thinking back over what you heard- 
assuming you pronounced this string of sounds according to the guide-let's assume you are able 
to translate these sounds into the following phoneme string: 


Let us suppose further that you have never heard any of these words before. Y et you probably 
sense that the utterance is composed of three little words (io da pa) followed by a predicate 

Y ou're right; but how did you know this? Well, the /ioda/-part of the unstressed initial seguence 
/iodapa/ can be nothing but a pair of little words, or a compound structure word, or two syllables 
of a longer structure word, for no predicate can begin that way. And if /iodapa/ were part of a 
name, there would be a final consonant somewhere followed by a pause, and there isn't. As for 
/KAMla/ we sense intuitively that it is a primitive predicate, that it can't be anything else. For 
example, if we thought that /KAMla/ were only part of some predicate and that /da/ were its 

head, making the trial word ?dakamla, we would sense immediately that the /da/ would fall off. 
Since we can't make anything stick to /KAMla/, kamla must be the word. (Here and in the 
seguel we will mark trial words with a prefixed '?' whenever the reader cannot yet be expected to 
know whether they are good Loglan words or not.) 

So much is correct, informally. But what if you had heard a pause, for example, after /IOD/? 


Then you would know that Iod was a name-word; and the rest of the string would resolve just as 
uniguely as the structure word a followed by pa followed by kamla. And why is not/KAM/ a 
name and /la/ a structure word? Because again the hypothetical name is not followed by a pause. 
Io da pa kamla, by the way, means 'Probably X came'. *Iod, a pa kamla, in contrast, is not 
grammatical and is for that reason starred. But it can be literally translated anyway, and into 
egually ungrammatical English: *Yode; and/or came'. 

But what about finding word boundaries between polysyllabic predicates? Here is an utterance 
with one or more long words: 


Let us suppose you can hear the phonemes correctly, and so hear this: 


First, we note that there are no names. If there were one, there would be a consonant followed by 
a pause; and there isn't. So we have only structure words and predicates to disentangle. Second, 
we recall that no structure word can contain a consonant pair and that all predicates do contain at 
least one pair. We note that we have four CC's in this string (/br gr rs ns/) and that the first one is 
/br/. Like any consonant- pair /br/ must be part of some predicate or some name; and there are no 
names. So /br/ is part of some predicate, and because it is a permissible initial (see Table 2.1 ) it 
may be the start of one. In fact, since it is the first CC in the utterance, if /br/ is not the start of 
the first predicate, it must be very near its start; for only a CV-shaped segment may precede it in 
the predicate. (See Note 17 again.) Third, we recall that every predicate has exactly one stressed 
syllable, and that that syllable is always the penultimate one. Well, the first stressed syllable in 
this utterance is /G AI/. Since /G AI/ is later than /br/, it must be the penultimate syllable of the 
same predicate of which /br/ is, or is near, the start. If /GAI/ is the penultimate syllable of some 
predicate, then the /gra/ that follows it is the ultimate syllable of that same predicate. So we have 
found at least one of the word boundaries we seek, namely, the one between /tabraGAIgra/ and 
/tarSENsi/. Let's write that word- boundary with the usual interverbal space in this partial 


We now notice that /tarSENsi/ is pretty obviously a single predicate. It consists of two CVC- 
shaped syllables and a final CV-shaped one, and the stressed syllable is where it belongs: 

penultimate in the word. In fact /tarSENsi/ can be nothing but the predicate tarsensi. We already 
know that it is made of two affixes: tar from tarci [TAHR-shee] which means 'star', and the full 
five-letter primitive form sensi [SEN-see] which means 'science'. So it is a word that means 'star- 
science' or 'astronomy'. It is obviously a complex and not a borrowing or a primitive. 

But what about the seguence to the left of our word- boundary, /tabraG Algra/? /G Algra/ could be 
a predicate because it, too, resolves as a complex; but so could /braG Algra/. Each is a string of 
affix-shaped triplets. But /G Algra/ does not contain the other piece of the predicate we have 
already located, namely the consonant- pair /br/. We know that/br/ must be inside the predicate 
whose stressed syllable is /G A I/. There is only one stressed syllable in this seguence, and that is 
/GAI/. So of the two possibilities, the predicate can only be /braGAIgra/. 

From an entirely different perspective we can see that /tabraG Algra/ can't be a predicate. It is not 
a string of affix- shaped triplets and it has no hyphens; so it is not an irregular complex, that is, 
one made with an irregular affix. It is certainly not a primitive. So if it is a predicate at all, it 
must be a borrowing. But if it is a borrowing, its first syllable /ta/ will "fall off" . That is to say, it 
can resolve as the string Ta bragaigra with Ta as a separate word; and if it can, it will. 
Evidently *tabragaigra does not have Property 5 of Section 2.16 . It does not resolve uniguely as 
a single word. Since *tabragaigra is not a word, and bragaigra can be, we now have only that 
one possibility left to consider. So bragaigra must be the predicate we have been looking for. 
We have found the last word- boundary in this pauseless utterance, the one between Ta and 
bragaigra. We have resolved the utterance as a three-word string: 

Ta bragaigra tarsensi 

But what does it mean? Ta is obviously a structure word. In fact, it is the demonstrative pronoun 
'That'. Ta is followed by two predicates. We already know that the second one means 
'astronomy'. The first one is composed of three affixes bra + gai + gra. If we looked up bra in 
Appendix D, we would find it is derived from [BRAH-nah] brana 'born/born to'; gai is derived 
from [GAHR-nee] garni '(to) govern/rule' or '(be a) governor/ruler 1 ; and gra is short for [GRAH- 
dah] grada 'great'. The defining metaphor of this complex is evidently brana garni grada or 
'born-ruler-great'. Well; what is a "born ruler"? An hereditary monarch, a king or gueen. What is 
a kingly kind of greatness? Well; possibly majesty or magnificence. Let's guess. 

If you guessed that the sentence may be translated as 'That's magnificent astronomy' you would 

I do not mean to imply by these few examples that learners listening to the flow of Loglan 
speech will actually go through these lucubrations to find these boundaries out. What I do mean 
is that it has been one of my research hypotheses in building Loglan that the presence of such 
deducible regularities in the morphological structure of utterances, as well as in the structure of 
complex words, will lead to rapid and largely unconscious inferences on the part of listeners-in 
this case, to inferences about the identity of elements in the speech- flow and about the 
components of the words themselves- and that this in turn, will enhance learning. This 
hypothesis remains to be tested by controlled experiment. But the descriptive evidence about the 
way these matters work in the natural languages, together with the kinds of errors learners do and 

don't make when listening to spoken Loglan, already gives it a certain plausibility. What we have 
done, as we will many times do again, is taken a natural tendency of the genus Language and 
pushed it outward toward some formal limit. What we have yet to discover is whether such 
deductively discoverable regularities in the speech-flow have any functional bearing on the 
listener's role in speech. 

2.21 A Summary 

We have learned that Loglan has a phonemic alphabet of 26 letters and that its letters are 
identical to those of the English alphabet: 


All except eight of these letters are pronounced as they usually are in English. The exceptional 
eight are c ; which is sounded like [sh]; i ; which is sounded like [ee] or [y] depending on context; 
j ; which is sounded like the 'z' in American 'azure' or the French 'j' of 'Jacgues' and is written [zh] 
in the guides; q, which is the 'th' of 'thin' and 'theta' and written [th] in the guides; u ; which is 
sounded like [oo] or [w] depending on context; w ; which is French 'u' and written [eu] in the 
guides; x ; which has the "rough breath" of Greek chi and is [kh] in the guides; and y, which is the 
slack, short sound of 'a' in 'sofa' and is written [uh] in the guides. 

q [th], w [eu] and x [kh] are irregular sounds used only in names and in some exceptional 
predicates and structure words, mainly scientific ones. 

y [uh] has a special role in the language in that, like the irregular sounds, it is used to spell some 
borrowed names and two exceptional predicates, but in addition it plays the role of a hyphen in 
complex predicates like mekykiu, and it buffers words like matyma in the buffered dialects. 
Buffered dialects are those that use y [uh] as a consonant-buffer and iy [yuh] as a hyphen. 

There is some contextual variation. The letter e sounds like [eigh], i like English [y], and u like 
[w] before vowels; the letter o sounds like [aw] before r and i; and the letter n sounds like [ng] 
before g and k. The consonants mnlr have vowel-like values that are spelled [mm nn 11 rr] in 
the guides, but these are used only in names and in some borrowings. 

Names unless final are always followed by pauses. Emphatic syllables before predicates are 
always followed by pauses. Vowel-initial words are always preceded by pauses. 

Any syllable of a name or structure word is free to be stressed or not stressed; but if its stress is 
not penultimate, then the vowel of the abnormally stressed syllable is marked either with an 
accent mark or with a following apostrophe (Pari's). The penultimate syllable of every predicate 
is always stressed in some degree, but hyphens don't count in determining stress; hence 
/MEKykiu/, not /meKY kiu/. No other syllable of a predicate word is ever stressed. 

Predicates are of three types: primitives, which are either of mrenu- or fumna-form; complexes, 
which, like bragaigra, tarsensi and Xai-kre, resolve into unigue strings of affixes; and 
borrowings, which, like iglu, protoni and athomi, are neither primitive nor complex. 

These rules, together with certain restrictions on consonant- pairing and the rules for pronouncing 
vowel- groups, are sufficient to guarantee that any grammatical string of Loglan sounds, no 
matter how rapidly spoken, can be uniguely resolved into words.— 


1 The exact means by which this was done is given in Chapters 3 and 4, of Brown (1969a). An 
approximate account is given in Chapter 6 of the present volume. 

2 The sound of [h] does not occur in standard Spanish. For example, it is not even listed as a 
variant of [x] by Wise (1957) in his chapter on "Spanish, Including Mexican". There is, to be 
sure, a variety of " Calif ornian", or "Northwestern Border Mexican", in which IPA [x] (Loglan 
[kh]) has disappeared altogether, and has apparently everywhere been replaced by English [h]. In 
that dialect, I was myself astonished to hear, Spanish 'Jorge' has become [HAWR-heigh], with no 
trace of the "rough breath" of [x] remaining. 

3 A more complete account of Loglan phonology and morphology is planned for in Loglan 6: 
Formal Structures. 

4 The addition of schwa ([uh]) as the sound of Loglan hyphen in 1986 weakened this argument 
but did not guite destroy it. Considerations of stress are still capable of distinguishing an 
Englishman's matma matma from his hyphenated matmymatma. Thus [MAHT-muh-MAHT- 
muh] differs from [maht-muh-MAHT-muh] in one clear way. But certainly the argument that 
this distinction will regularly be drawn in this dialect is now weaker. The only safe thing for 
English- and German- speaking loglanists to do, in fact, if they want to be certain of being 
understood by their computers now that [uh] is with us, is to speak Loglan like a Spaniard; for 
the Spaniard's [MAAT-maa-MAAT-maa] will differ from his [maat-muh-MAAT-maa] in two 
particulars rather than one. 

5 The sound schwa ([uh]) spelled by the letter y, was originally introduced in Loglan as a 
consonant-buffer in 1982 (see Brown 1982b). At the time the morph r with three allomorphs r n 
1 was being tried out as the hyphen in complex words. B. Walsh (1983) and RA. Mclvor (1983) 
both proposed thaty replace r as the hyphen as y would reguire no allomorphs. RJ. LeChevalier 
(1985) strengthened the case for hyphen y. In 1986 y was officially adopted as the Loglan 
hyphen and retained as its buffer when certain modifications of the original proposals were made 
to enable it to play both roles. The dual role of y was described for the first time in Brown 

6 Dr. RA . Mclvor has suggested that "vowel- buffering" may generate another set of Loglan 
dialects, namely those spoken by loglanists in whose shared native language vowel clusters were 
rare or difficult. The sounds he suggests as vowel-buffers in such dialects are the two semi- 
vowels [y] and [w]. They could be used to turn the i- and u-initial VV-series of the standard 
dialect into definite disyllables. Thus ia, which is standardly [yah], would become [ee-yah]; and 
ua, which is standardly [wah], would become [oo-wah]; and so on. 

7 In British English the 'z' of 'azure' is often pronounced as in 'size'. For such speakers the 's' of 
British 'vision' is a better clue to the sound of Loglan j. 

8 Some word-makers feel that only the stressed syllable in these three words deserves the 
doubled continuant; and they therefore write them as *Rrl, *Mrrtl and *Brrtn. But this is a 
mistake (and so I have starred them); for all three words have two syllables, and both syllables 
require the vocalic value of its continuant. To be sure, all the stressed syllables are longer. But 
the short, unstressed syllables also require vowels. To see this-or rather, to hear it-consider the 
two English words 'burn' and 'burin'. The first is a monosyllable with just one vocalic consonant, 
and would be written Brrn (if it were a Loglan name); the second is distinctly disyllabic, and so 
would be written Brrnn (if it, too, were a name). The only difference between these two natural 
words is that one has the consonantal, the other, the vocalic allophone of Loglan /n/ in final 
position. Again this is a difference that is phonemic in English but not in Loglan.. .except, of 
course, in just such borrowed names. 

9 The difference between the two sounds represented in IPA by [y] and [Y ], both of which occur 
in German, is too small to differentiate in Loglan. Both 'Muhler' which contains [y] and 'Minister' 
which contains [Y ] may be written with Loglan w. 

10 That there is still a category of sometimes- stressed syllables in Loglan morphology reflects 
the fact that the production of certain classes of Loglan words, principally the compound 
structure words, has not been observed long enough to furnish us with a clear understanding of 
the pause- and stress- regularities that will undoubtedly develop in this portion of the Loglan 
speech system as they have elsewhere. Indeed, perhaps they have already but have not been 

11 Greenhood's and my conjecture (Brown and Greenhood, 1985) that early human speech was 
song would predict that it is. 

12 Possible exceptions to this rule are the names of famous personages which now appear as 
quasi- predicates in the literature of science or scholarship: 'Marx', 'Freud' and 'Einstein', for 
example, as in 'Einsteinian relativity'. Do we borrow such names by sight or sound? Do we write 
Einstein and say [EYN-steyn], or say [IGHN-shtighn] and write Ainctain? This is an open 
question; there are good reasons in support of each policy. At the moment, among the scholars 
who have offered opinions on the matter, a slight preponderance seems to favor Einstein over 
Ainctain.. .that is, appearance over sound. 

13 The other closed monosyllable VC, which yields such words as 'of, 'in', and 'at' in English, is 
at present largely unused in Loglan. 

14 With typographically more sophisticated equipment than has been used to set this book, and 
in handwriting, using an accent mark on the abnormally stressed vowel (as in Spanish), may 
come to be preferred. 

15 The original form of this rule was to pair vowels from the left; for it was obvious that the pair- 
from-the- right rule had some fairly nasty formal consequences. For example, consider the two 

names (i) Loioioioioioiois and (ii) Loioioioioioioios, the addition of the eighth o to the latter 
being their only difference. Given pairing from the right, (i) would be pronounced [loy-oy-oy- 
oy-oy-OY-oyss] while (ii) would be [loh-yoh-yoh-yoh-yoh-yoh-YOH-yohss]. Left-pairing gives 
the same result for (i) and the not- very- different [loy-oy-oy-oy-oy-oy-OY-ohss] for (ii), and it is 
all accomplished with no ; or little, backtracking. (I am indebted to Dr. Guy L. Steele Jr. for this 
example.) For this essentially formal reason, pairing from the left was the earliest (1985) form of 
the pairing rule. But sadly enough empirical considerations soon overturned it. While using the 
pairing rule in the borrowing process described in Chapter 6, 1 found that about 90% of the odd 
length vowel-strings were of length 3; so not much backtracking is reguired whichever end you 
start from. More decisively, about 80% of the length-3 strings paired more naturally from the 
right than from the left. For example, once the Linnaean ending -ea is augmented by HI, as turned 
out to be necessary to preserve the distinctions effected by the natural endings of Linnaean 
words, then the augmented ending -eai is a 3-string which pairs much more naturally as /-Ear/, 
that is, from the right, than it does from the left, which gives the trisyllable /-eAi/. The first result 
is pronounced as [-EIGH-igh], the second as [-eigh-AH-ee]; and it is clear that the first is far 
more reminiscent of the natural ending. Cases of this kind could be multiplied by the hundreds. 
The outcome of the pairing-rule study is one of the rare cases when a formally superior solution 
had to be abandoned in favor of a formally weaker one dictated by distributional considerations. 

16 The seguence /tePROa/ will be heard in Loglan, not as the phrase te *proa with its disallowed 
word- form CCV'V, but as the word teproa, which resolves as the two-term complex tep+roa. 
This, in turn, deciphers as tepli rodja or "temple-grow" . At the moment this is an unassigned 
metaphor in Loglan, that is, it is not the deriving metaphor of any Loglan complex. The temple- 
growers haven't arrived yet. But the point is, they could; and so teproa could become a word 
tomorrow afternoon. 

17 Letting '# stand for word- boundaries, '0' for a null segment of a predicate word, '|' for a 
boundary of some segment, '/' as the mark of egually permissible alternatives, 'cc' for an 
impermissible initial consonant- pair, 'CC for a permissible initial pair, vv' for a vowel-pair 
pronounced monosyllabically, and '(x)' for the statement that the segment x may occur none or 
more times, there are three types of predicate words: Type I, in which the stressed syllable comes 
just before the first C-pair; Type Ha, in which the stressed syllable comes after the first C-pair 
when it is a cc; and Type lib, in which the stressed syllable follows the first C-pair when it is a 
CC. Their formulas are as follows: 

I #0,1. |(V)| | |V'/vv'|CC/cc|(C)|V/vv# 
IIa#CA |(V)|Vcc|(C/V)|V'/vv'| |(C)|V/vv# 
IIb#CV/0| | CC |(C/V)|V'/vv'| |(C)|V/vv# 

What these formulas say is that the Loglan predicate has a uniform center composed of a stressed 
vowel or a stressed diphthong V'/vv', and a uniform tail which is the next occurring instance of a 
V or vv after the stressed center. In a Type I predicate a consonant- pair must by definition occur 
between the center and the tail; it may be either an impermissible initial cc or a permissible 
initial CC, hence CC/cc. Additionally, there may be a string of none or more consonants (C) 
between the CC/cc and the tail. (Iglu is a Type I predicate in which there are no additional C's.) 
In Type Ha and lib there may also be none or more consonants (C) between the stressed center 

and the unstressed tail. The Type I head is composed of the first instance of a consonant or a 
pause C/. that occurs to the left of the stressed center. The head C/. may be optionally separated 
from the center by a string of none or more vowels (V). In Type II there must be a consonant- 
pair of some kind (CC/cc) to the left of the stressed center, and between that pair and the center 
there may be a string of none or more consonants or vowels (C/V) in any order. In Type Ha the 
earliest consonant- pair in the predicate is, by definition an impermissibly initial cc. The cc must 
therefore be preceded by a V, and the V in turn must be preceded by either a consonant or a 
pause C/.; so the minimum Type Ha head is .Vcc (e.g., alk- in [ahl-KAHL-ee] alkali, a Type Ha 
predicate). But between the head CI. and the obligatory Vcc segment of a Type Ha predicate may 
be a string of none or more vowels (V). (Alkali has none.) In Type lib predicates the earliest C- 
pair is, by definition, a permissibly initial CC. The CC is either initial, as it is in the predicate 
mrenu, or preceded by a CV-pair, as it is in pasnaodei = 'yesterday'; hence by CV/0. Whether 
the first CC of the Type lib predicate has CV or as its preguel is settled by the "Slinkui Test" 
described in Chapter 6. 

18 'It seems repugnant to me- if not linguistically immoral-to have something composed entirely 
of affixes.' (Prof. P.D. Seaman, personal communication and jocular.) I agree that 'affix' is not 
going to be comfortable for most linguists in this context. What I really mean is almost but not 
guite 'bound form', which would include some stems as well as affixes. But that phrase is both 
too long, and too technical to be used as freguently as the word that conveys this notion must be 
used in this book. 'Affix' is the next most accurate word and guite commonly understood to 
indicate bound forms. The inaccuracy of both technical terms for the current use is that some of 
the objects I shall be calling "affixes" are free forms, e.g., -sensi in tarsensi. But most Loglan 
complexes are "composed entirely of bound forms", namely all those made entirely of three- 
letter segments. In these cases, all segments of the word are (in my sense) affixes because, except 
in a rather pale semantic sense (in which I suppose the modificand in the defining metaphor 
could be argued to provide the stem), there is no stem. If Prof. Seaman can agree that many 
linguistic objects can be, and often are, composed entirely of such "bound forms", then perhaps 
he (and others) will be kind enough to place that interpretation on my usage of the English word 
'affix'. If we were speaking Loglan, I would suggest djifoa ("join-form"), a word which is itself 
composed entirely of djifoas. 

19 The intelligibility studies on which this section and Tables 2.1-3 are based were reported in 
Brown (1982b). 

20 Words of CVV+CVV form do exist; but they are acronyms: for example, TaiVai = TV. As 
acronyms, such words are treated grammatically as predicates, but they are not morphologically 
detectable as such. Morphologically, CVV+CVV-form words are compound little words, and it 
is as such that the resolver discovers that they are acronyms and feeds them as predicates to the 

21 A computer-executable algorithm that accomplishes word-resolution in well-formed Loglan 
utterances will be found in Loglan 6. 

22 One of the three emphatic versions of this sentence, the one that would translate That's 
magnificent astronomy!', would have to have a pause between the stressed II kl and the rest of 

the sentence, according to the rule on p.80 . This gives the production /TA . braGAIgratarSENsi/, 
which then resolves, as desired, as Tabragaigra tarsensi! Without that pause, however, 
/TA braGAIgratarSENsi/ becomes something else, namely Tabragaigra tarsensi!, which is an 
imperative which I can't translate for you because tabra is not yet a word. This illustrates the 
importance of the rule on p.80 that stressed syllables that just precede predicates must be 
separated from those predicates by pauses. 

23 The evolution of the morphology described in this chapter was reported in a series of papers 
overaneight-yearperiod(Brown,J.C. 1979a,b,e, 1980a,b, 1982b, 1983a,b,c, 1987). Works that 
also contributed to the unfolding morphology were Barton (1978a,b,c), Brown, J. R. (1979), 
Carter (1981), Chapman (1987), Darwin (1978b, 1979), Johnson, R.W. (1978), Lovatt(1977), 
Mclvor(1980, 1981a,b,c, 1983), Parks- Clifford (1977a,h,i, 1978, 1979, 1980), Parlette (1978), 
Prothero (1981), Rosenberger (1981) as well as the papers of Walsh and LeChevalier cited in 
Note 5. 

C hapter 3 

3.1 What Grammar Is 

Grammar is the art of stringing words together in understandable ways. Y ou have spoken 
grammatically, in any language, when your hearers have understood what you said. Thus a 
grammar is not a collection of rules for speaking elegantly, or correctly, or even sensibly. For 
much that is nonsense is understandable, and what people usually mean by "incorrect" speech is 
simply unfashionable. Thus 'Ain't that man coming?' is grammatical in English simply because it 
is regularly produced in several dialects of that language, and understood in all of them. 'Coming 
ain't man that' is ungrammatical in every English dialect because it is unfathomable. And this, in 
turn, is true because there are no rules by which such a string of words can be formed in any 
English dialect. Asa conseguence no listener can guess how it was formed, and this is a large 
part of what understanding really is. We are therefore concerned, in this chapter, not with how 
people will talk sensibly in Loglan but with how they will talk at all in it; that is, with the rules 
they will use, or might use, to say anything at all. 

Now construed in this modern, scientific way it is clear that the domain of grammatical sentences 
in any language must be very, very large. For grammars must not only account for what is in fact 
said in a language, or is likely to be said, but for what might be said under any circumstances at 
all. Do green ideas sleep furiously? 1 Who knows? Is it possible to say that they do? Of course. 
But is it grammatical to say so? Again, of course. For grammar is the art of the possible. Like 
language itself it is not exclusively, nor even primarily, concerned with what is.- 

The number of rules in Loglan giammar is about 200. If this seems large, it will interest you to 

know that linguists have devised about 6,000 rules to deal with a very small part of written 
English. One guesses that they have at least as many more to go. Loglan, then, is reasonably 
small as human grammars go; yet the domain of its grammatical utterances is very large. 
Therefore we cannot hope to discuss every possible kind of Loglan utterance in this book, or 
even all the 200- odd rules that define their domain. A complete list of those rules is given in 
Loglan 6: Formal Structures, where they are given in a form suitable for writing instructions to 
machines. Our purpose in this book is a different one, however. It is to explore the possible 
effects of the human uses of the language on the mind. So only the most instructive of the 
immense variety of grammatical utterances are discussed informally in this chapter and in 
Chapters 4 and 5. 

In this chapter and the next two, then, we will try to exhibit not the whole grammar of Loglan but 
the essential part of it. And we will discuss that part in a way designed to increase not your 
mastery of the grammar but your understanding of it as a whole. In particular we would like to 
show you why Loglan has the kind of grammatical arrangements it does have, and how these 

arrangements are related--or may be thought to be related-to the processes of thinking which are 
our main concern. 

3.2 The Divisions of the G rammar 

We will divide our discussion of Loglan grammar into three parts, taking up the first part in the 
rest of this chapter and assigning the next two chapters to the others. In the first of these parts, 
we will deal with the fundamental notion of Loglan grammar: the idea of the predicate and its 
most important elaborations. In doing this, we will keep the designative apparatus of the 
language very simple: we will use only pronouns to refer to things. 

In the second part of our grammatical discussion (Chapter 4) we will describe the variety of ways 
in which things can be designated in Loglan. We will find that all the designative apparatus of 
English is present here--pronouns, descriptions, the Loglan eguivalent of common and proper 
nouns- plus a good deal more besides. One of our tasks in that chapter will be to show how the 
predicate constructions of this chapter are used in the machinery of description. 

In the third part (Chapter 5) we will consider the varieties of sentence- forms in Loglan. In 
particular, we will consider how simple sentences may be combined to express logically complex 
ideas and how these may be strung together in discourse. Here at last we will be dealing with 
Loglan at that level of language with which ordinary logic deals. 

I will supply either a pronunciation guide or a phonemic transcription for each numbered Loglan 
specimen you encounter in this book. We'll be using guides for the shorter specimens in the first 
third of this chapter, then transcriptions for the occasionally longer specimens thereafter. Y ou 
will learn the language faster if you pronounce each specimen as you come to it and listen 
carefully to the sound of your own voice. If you do this, you will be supplying yourself with the 
audible stimuli that are indispensible for sutori (second and subseguent) language learning. A 
rewarding conseguence of such an effort will be that you will hear ever more competent Loglan 
speech emerging from your mouth each day. As you listen to your own Loglan speech, and then 
compare what you hear with the "good Loglan" described in the guides and transcriptions, you 
will find that the difference between them is growing less and less. It's for this reason that I've 
put the guides after the specimens. Remember that you know all the sounds of Loglan before 
you begin. They are are just arranged in new patterns and have new associations. And the best 
way to learn those new patterns is to listen to yourself producing them. 

3.3 The Simple Predicate 

In the previous chapter you learned that the great bulk of the Loglan vocabulary is composed of 
its predicate words, and that predicate words in Loglan correspond to the nouns, verbs, adjectives 
and many of the adverbs and prepositions of English. It is not surprising, then, that the 
fundamental constructions of Loglan grammar concern the use of predicate words. Let us look at 
the sentences below: 

(1) Damrenu He is a man. 


(2) Dablanu It is blue. 


(3) Da madzo de She makes it (i.e., is a maker of 


It is as if we said in a kind of Pidgin English 'He man', 'It blue' and 'She make it'.- The Loglan 
words mrenu, blanu and madzo are, of course, predicates. The little word da means 'he' ; 'she' ; 
'it' ; 'they' or 'them', or simply 'X ' as in the language of mathematics. In the third sentence, de 
appears. It too means either 'he' ; 'she' ; 'it', 'they' or 'them', or simply Y '.- 

The important thing to notice is that the irieaniiig of the predicate woids in tfe 
evidently includes the English notion of a verb. It is now apparent that mrenu and blanu do not 
really mean just 'man' and 'blue' as we have loosely said, but the whole expressions ' a man' 
and ' blue'. Moreover the word madzo means not only the verb 'to make', it may apparently 
also mean the whole phrase ' a maker of...'. In fact, madzo and blanu mean more than that, 
for look at these sentences: 

(4) Da madzo de di X makes Y out of Z. 


(5) Da blanu de X is bluer than Y . 


If now we are to believe that madzo means '...makes.. .out of...' ; and that blanu means ' bluer 
than...', as well as the simpler phrase ' blue', then it is clear that Loglan predicate words mean 
a great deal more than the individual English nouns, verbs and adjectives with which you will be 
tempted to eguate them. They do. They mean whole sentences. More precisely, they have the 
meanings of sentences with blanks in them. 

This is the fundamental notion of Loglan grammar. Each predicate word or construction 
represents a potential claim about the world. And it is that whole claim-or the longest of the 
several claims that might be made with it-that is the meaning of that predicate.- Thus, the whole 
meaning of the Loglan word madzo is, in English, '...makes or is a maker of.. .out of material...'. 
That's a lot to pack into one word. 

Now the devices that fill the blanks in a predicate expression are known as the arguments of that 
predicate. The word 'argument' is adopted from mathematics, where it means whatever appears 
between the parentheses of some functional expression. Thus x' is the argument of the function 
'f(...)' in the expression 'f(x)'. (The parallel between the mathematical function and the Loglan 
predicate will probably be clear.) The arguments of a predicate designate the persons, objects, or 
things of which the predicate is claimed to be true. Thus in (4), above, the pronouns da, de and 

di are the arguments of the predicate expression ...madzo They are the designations of the 

three things the sentence is about: a maker X , a made thing Y , and a material Z. The two 

arguments of the predicate ...blanu... in (5) above are da and de. Clearly they must refer to a 
bluer thing X and a less blue thing Y if the claim of the sentence is to be true. 

Now no one is obliged to say all that he might say every time he speaks. Thus: 

(6) Da blanu X is bluer than. (I.e., X is bluer 

than something.. .probably some 
standard patch of blue.) 

(7) Da madzo X is a maker of. (I.e., X makes 

something from something.) 


(8) Da madzo de X is maker of Y from. (I.e., X 

makes Y from something.) 

are all perfectly permissible, if incomplete, claims. They are called incomplete utterances in 
Loglan; for in Loglan, unlike English, they are obviously incomplete. People do not say 'It is 
bluer than' and stop in English. If they did, they would sense what the Loglan speaker means 
when he says Da blanu. Thus the Loglan forms invite completion, and guestions about 
completion, in open and obvious ways. We can easily imagine the sense of the incompleteness of 
most ordinary human speech becoming a very powerful aid to the Loglan-user when interacting 
with machines. 

We now see that all by itself, and without inflection or adornment, the Loglan predicate word 
carries a great deal more specific meaning than the usual natural language word. This accounts 
for the fundamental simplicity of Loglan grammar, but also for its genuine difficulty for the 
newcomer. For simple (atomic) sentences do not really have to be "constructed" in Loglan. They 
already exist in the specific claims embodied in its host of predicate words.- 

3.4 Varieties of Predicates 

It will be clear from the foregoing that predicates may be classified by considering the largest 
number of arguments they may take. Thus m r en u takes one argument and never more than one,- 1 
blanu takes either one or two arguments, but never more than two; and so on. W e will call 
predicates that take exactly one argument one-place predicates. Predicates which, like blanu, 
take at most two arguments, will be called two- place predicates. Among the predicates which 
take at most three arguments, are of course, madzo, but also words like godzi ('...goes 
to. ..from...'), corta (' shorter than.. .by amount...') and, even more surprisingly, matma (' 
the mother of... by father...'). For a predicate may take as many arguments as it needs to make its 
meaning clear. Finally, there are a few four- and five-place predicates. The word vedma 
('...sells... to. ..for price...') is one of these. There are no six- or higher-place predicates presently 
defined in the language, although certainly there could be.- 

One- place predicates express categorical ideas, or the properties of things viewed in isolation. 
Many English nouns ('book' ; 'monkey', 'hammer'), a few English adjectives ('perfect', 'complete') 
and some intransitive verbs ('sleep', 'sneeze') express categorical ideas in that language. There are 
relatively few of these one-place predicates in Loglan, because few things are viewed in isolation 
in that language. Thus two-, three- and four-place predicates are much more common in Loglan, 
for they express the relations by which things are connected to other things: mothers, children 
and fathers; travelers, destinations and points of departure; parts and wholes; talkers and the 
people and things they talk to and about; shorter things and longer things and the amounts by 
which they differ; seers, seen things, and the backgrounds against which they are seen; and so 
on. Since Loglan abounds in relational predicates of this kind, it might well be called a relational 
language. But not because there are in fact more relational ideas in Loglan than in other 
languages, for probably there are not; but because it is much more obvious in Loglan than in 
other languages when its predicate ideas are relational. For Loglan grammar makes all its 
relational notions very plain where the grammatical arrangements of many other languages tend 
to obscure the relational character of their ideas.- 

3.5 On the Metaphysics of Predicates 

Now you have probably sensed that a vast simplification of language is achieved by this device. 
If predicates express both properties and relations, then there is hardly anything in language that 
cannot be said by means of predicates, for relations and properties are all we usually talk about. 
Thus the claim of the English transitive verb ('John hit Pete') is always a relation; of intransitive 
verbs ('John sneezed'), a simple if short-lived property. The claim of most English prepositions is 
either a relation ('John is in the house') or part of a more complex relation ('John went into the 
house'). We have seen that the claims made with English nouns and adjectives are either 
properties (That was perfect') or relations ('John is the father of Jack'); and so on. If Loglan 
predicates do all this work in Loglan, then what is there left to talk about? 

Actually, guite a lot. For while Loglan is simple in just these content words where the natural 
languages are complex, Loglan is complex in its handling of little words where natural languages 
are still rather rudimentary. The point is, it can afford to be. For with the great savings which are 
achieved in Loglan by regarding each predicate word as a potential sentence-and this is the idea 
of the propositional function which is the great achievement of modern logic-we can now 
elaborate the logical functions of the language far beyond their natural limits. In effect, we have 
simplified the content- handling machinery of language in order to elaborate its machinery for 
handling thought. But to do this we have paid a price, or rather we have arranged for you to pay 
one. For if you learn the language you will find that while the mechanics of the predicate 
grammar are very simple for your tongue to master, its metaphysics are not easy for the mind. 
For your mind, gentle reader, has almost certainly been shaped by an Indo-European language. It 
is therefore admirably eguipped to deal with a world of enduring objects (nouns), of actions and 
processes (verbs), of permanent gualities (adjectives), of transitory gualities (one kind of 
adverb), and of gualities of gualities (another kind of adverb); and it is just this partition of the 
world you will miss in speaking Loglan. Y our world is a time- bound world; it makes its 
fundamental distinctions on the basis of permanence or change. The world you will gradually 
come to see in speaking Loglan is time- free; for its fundamental notions contain no hint of time. 
Your world has hard, categorical boundaries between one thing-class and another; in the Loglan 

world the classifying qualities of things are more softly viewed. Y our world is a world of 
separate objects; the things of the Loglan world are caught up in a web of relations. In short, the 
world of Loglan is just that time- free world of continuous qualities and things- in- relation that 
science has taught us to expect to find under the appearances we see. Perhaps if it helps us see 
that world a little more directly, it will have been worth the price of these wrenches to our minds. 

3.6 The Simple Tenses pa na fa 

We have said that the Loglan world is time- free because its fundamental notion-the unadorned 
predicate- contains no hint of time. But time and events in time must obviously be 
accommodated. This is simply done. We can now adorn the predicate with the optional apparatus 
of tense. To begin with, we need only three little words: pa, na and fa. Look at the following 

(1) Dapamadzo de X madeY. 


(2) Da fa godzi de X will go to Y . 


(3) Danablanu X is now blue. 


(4) Da pa mrenu X was a man. 


(5) Da fa fumna X will be a woman. 


What could be simpler? Every Loglan predicate may be "inflected" in this way; but no predicate 
needs to be. Thus, the tense machinery of Loglan is strictly optional. Y ou use it when you are 
concerned with time; you don't when you are not.— 

The optional character of the Loglan tenses permits the direct expression of many things that are 
hidden in certain arbitrary- seeming usage- patterns of the natural languages. In English there is no 
"time-less" tense. But we need one; therefore we make one up. We use the present tense of verbs 
like 'swim', 'dance' or 'fly' and expect our listeners to know when we say 'He swims', 'She dances 
well', and 'John flies to New Y ork' that we do not mean these remarks literally. For when we use 
the so-called "present" tense in these sentences we do not intend to claim that he is swimming 
now, or that she is dancing now, or that John is flying now, but only that he can swim, she can 
dance well, and that John does fly to New Y ork when he goes there at all. We expect-and get- 
the cooperation of the listener in these non- literal uses of the English present tense because we 
need a time- free tense in English and do not have one.— Loglan has one. Therefore in speaking 
Loglan you can mean what you say. The difference between the following sentences 

(6) Da sucmi X swims (i.e., is a swimmer). 


(7) Da na sucmi X is swimming (i.e., is now 


is just what it seems to be. In the first we are imputing a certain time-free property to X , namely 
that he can swim if you let him. He is a swimmer. In the second we are asserting that he is 
exhibiting that property right now. He is swimming. 

Note that English usage reguires the little verb 'can' to express the time-free sense of its verbs 
uneguivocally. The suffix '-able' also communicates this notion. Thus, problems are solvable, 
people are lovable, substances are flammable, and so on. In Loglan we assert these properties 
nakedly and directly; for they are just what the naked predicate is about. Thus, the difference 

(8) Da cabro X burns (i.e., is flammable). 


(9) Da fa cabro X will burn (i.e., will actually 

burst into flames). 

is again just the difference between the assertion of a time- free property and the prediction of a 
future event.— Thus if (9) is to be true, the event of X 's burning must actually occur. We now see 
that Loglan really has four simple tenses; they are formed by putting pa, na, fa or nothing at all 
in front of any predicate word.— 

There are also some compound tenses in Loglan but these are straightforward elaborations of the 
simple tenses and need not concern us here. Lists of these more complex time-binding operations 
will be found in L oglan 6 under Lexeme PA .— We may remark in passing that all European 
tenses-and some extra ones besides-are easily accommodated in the complete Loglan tense 

3.7 Location with vi va vu 

Words which locate predicated things or events in relation to the speaker- words like 'here', 
'there' and 'far away' in English, which are vi va vu in Loglan-are often used in inflecting 
position in Loglan, that is, like tense operators. Thus 

(1) Davimadzo de X here makes Y. 


(2) Da fa va cabro X will there bum. 


(3) Da vu fa vedma X away will sell. 


are quite normal forms in Loglan. But there are both other positions and other uses of tense and 
location words in Loglan which we will consider in Chapter 5 on sentence forms. 

Just as there are compound tenses so there are compound location operators in Loglan. An 
account of these is also given under Lexeme PA in Loglan 6. Grammatically speaking, location 
operators are indistinguishable from tense operators in Loglan. Where no difference is required 
grammatically, no distinction is drawn. This principle of grammatical parsimony has been a 
general rule in the construction of Loglan grammar. 

3.8 Conversion with nu fu ju 

Putting a tense or location word before a predicate is called an operation; and the words that 
accomplish the operations of Loglan grammar are called its operators. Several operations may be 
performed on Loglan predicates. The one that we will consider now is called conversion. Look at 
the following sentences: 

(1) Dapablodade XhitY. 


(2) De pa nu bloda da Y was hit by X . 


(3) Dacluvade X loves Y. 


(4) De nu cluva da Y is loved by X . 


In sentences (2) and (4) the meanings of the predicates b lo d a and cluva have been converted into 
what we call, in English, the "passive voice". But notice that all we have really done is 
exchanged the meanings of the first and second places of these predicates. Thus X loves Y ' and 
Y is loved by X ' make exactly the same claim about X and Y . All that has happened is that the 
order of the places in the predicate expression has been changed. The operator '...-ed by' serves 
notice of this rearrangement in English. The operator nu serves the same function in Loglan. 

But the little word nu exchanges the meanings of the first and second places of any Loglan 
predicate. This includes those with adjectival and noun-like meanings as well as those that 
behave like verbs. Thus 

(5) Da nu blanu de X is less blue than Y . 


(6) Da nu matma de X is an offspring of mother Y . 


are also permissible forms. Thus it will not do to think of conversion as simply the Loglan 
version of the "passive voice." Any predicate having at least two places can have those places 

exchanged by the operation with nu. Thus madzo and vedma are three- and four- place 
predicates respectively, but they too can be converted with nu: 

(7) Da pa nu madzo de X was made by Y . 


(8) Da fa nu madzo de di X will be made by Y from Z. 


(9) Da pa nu vedma de di X was sold by Y to Z. 


(10) Da na nu vedma X is now being sold. 


Notice that the nu-conversion does not disturb the meaning of the third (or higher) places of such 
predicates. Thus, in (8) di is still the material, and in (9) di is still the buyer. For all nu does is 
switch the meanings of the first and second arguments. Notice also that incomplete forms of 
converse predicates, as in (10), are just as sayable as the incomplete forms of normal ones. 

Notice also that the word nu, as in pa nu vedma, comes between the tense operator and the 
predicate word. This is because the operation of conversion may only be performed upon the 
naked predicate; it should not be applied to the tensed one. It is therefore this converse predicate 
(nu vedma) that is then tensed (pa nu vedma). English word-order expresses this same 
conception. Thus, in translating 'X was sold' by Da pa nu vedma, the word pa performs some of 
the offices of English 'was' and the converse form nu vedma has approximately the sense of the 
past participle 'sold'. But note that the separation of these two operations is not so neat in 

In exactly the same way the operators fu, and ju work to bring third-, and fourth- place arguments 
into the first-place of predicates of higher form. Thus in 

(11) Da fa fu madzo de di From X will be made Y by Z. 


the positions of the material X and the maker Z have been exchanged. So it is the position of the 
made-thing Y that is now unchanged. In normal form this same claim would be Di fa madzo de 
da ('Z will make Y from X '). Note that the made- thing Y is in second place in both forms. Again, 

(12) Da pa fu vedma de di do X was sold Y by Z for price H 

(i.e., X bought Y from Z forH). 


it is the first and third places which are exchanged. Should we wish to bring the fourth arguments 
of longer predicates into first place, the little word ju exists to make such conversions. For 

( 1 3) D a pa ju vedma de di do X was the price of Y to (buyer) Z 

from (seller) H. 

[ dah- pah- zhoo- V ED - man- deh- dee- don] 

Should fifth and higher higher places of extremely long predicates be reguired, then a 
subscripting system is repaired to. Thus nufe will exchange the first and fifth places of any 
predicate long enough to have one: 

(14) Da pa nufe ketpi de di do du X was the accommodation for 

travel to Y from Z on carrier H 
secured by ticket Q. 

In this way, the price and the accommodation (seat cabin, berth, etc.) implicit in the predicates 
'sell' and 'ticket', respectively, have been brought into first place.— In the ju-and nufe- 
conversions the second- and third-place meanings remain unchanged.— 

Now these are complicated notions, in any language. But what is complicated about them is their 
derivation, not their uses once derived. Thus the Loglan speaker will almost certainly regard ju 
vedma as a distinct predicate meaning '(is the) price (of some merchandise)', and not just a 
variant of the predicate meaning 'sell'. We may so regard it, for we are interested in examining 
the structure of the language. But it may be that to the practiced speaker of Loglan the predicate 
expressions ju vedma and vedma will seem about as closely related-or as distantly-as 'vocal' 
and 'vocation' are in English. In any case, he or she will almost certainly regard them as distinct 
ideas, each with a pattern of uses to be mastered separately. He will certainly not contrive the 
uses of one from what he knows about the other by "transformations" performed in the course of 

But returning to our structural examination, we now see that the chief practical function of the 
conversion operation is not to switch meanings around in the complete forms we have been 
considering, but to bring higher order arguments into prominence in incomplete forms. Here are 
some examples: 

(15) Da pa ju vedma X was a price (of some sold 


(16) Da fa fu madzo X will be a material (from which 

something will be made). 

(17) Da na nu godzi X is now a destination (a place 

now being gone to by some 
unspecified goer). 


(18) Da nu blanu X is less blue (than something 


(19) Da nu cluva X is lovable. 


If the last translation startles you, reflect on this (in a Loglan way): Da cluva de means 'X loves 
Y '. To say Da cluva (incompletely) must therefore mean thatX loves someone or something in a 
time-free sense-in short, X can love; he or she is a lover. But Da nu cluva de means 'X is loved 
by Y ' in a timeless sense. Whence Da nu cluva must mean-again incompletely-that X is a 
beloved. That is ; he ; she or it can evidently be loved; whence X is lovable. Thus we encounter 
the time- free sense of the Loglan predicate in converse as well as normal form. Here are some 
other examples of converse potentialities: 

(20) Da nu madzo X is makable (i.e., can be made). 


(21) Da fu ditca X is teachable (i.e., can be taught 


The complete form of the predicate ditca means '...teaches.. .to...'; whence the teachable person or 
animal is normally designated in the third place, thus reguiring the fu-conversion. But now 

(22) Da nu ditca X is a teachable (i.e., a teach- 
able topic or subject). 


(23) Da nu titci X is edible (i.e., can be eaten). 


Thus titci must be at least in part a two-place predicate meaning '...eats...'. But note that 'X is 
eaten' and 'X is taught' are not good translations of (23) and (22). These English expressions 
involve the hint of time; they seem to suggest that the eating and teaching did in fact take place. 
This is contrary to the spirit of Loglan. For in Loglan the fundamental thing about an object is 
not whether it has been eaten or taught, but whether it is the kind of thing that can be eaten or 

This is a troublesome notion to the English mind. But it can perhaps be clarified by the following 
example: If I show you a drawing of a tool that has never been made but which I believe can be 
made, I will impute that property to it in Loglan with the grammatically simple claim Da nu 
madzo; and I will sense, as I am saying it, that what I have said about this still imaginary thing is 
somehow more fundamental than the more elaborate claim I might make about it tomorrow, 
when it has been made. Thus the tensed Loglan form Da pa nu madzo feels more elaborate to 
me because it is more elaborate, grammatically. The untensed form Da nu madzo feels more 
fundamental because it is more fundamental, again grammatically. For in Loglan the direction of 

grammatical simplicity is nearly always the direction of observational simplicity. If something 
has in fact been burned it must have been burnable; the second state precedes the other 
observationally. But many burnable things exist which have never been, and will never be ; 
actually burned. In English the direction of grammatical simplicity goes the other way. 'Burnable' 
is a more elaborate word than 'burned'. Y et you probably now agree that being burnable is a 
simpler state than being burned. Just so with 'made' and 'makable', 'loved' and 'lovable', and every 
other property of this still-potential world. Again we see how European grammars are more 
complicated than they would otherwise need to be by their metaphysical commitment to the idea 
of time. 

3.9 Negation with no 

The little word no is called the negative operator in Loglan and is used in a wide variety of ways. 
Some of these ways will not concern us until we consider negative arguments and sentences in 
Chapters 4 and 5. For the present, we are only concerned with the ways in which the negation of 
predicates can be arranged. 

There are two such ways. One is when no precedes a tense operator, as in sentences (1) and (2); 
the other is when it precedes a predicate, as in sentence (3). When no precedes the tense word, as 

(1) Da no pa gudbi mrenu— X was not a good man. 


([GOOD] rhymes with 'food', not 'good') and 

(2) Da no fa bakso madzo X is not going to be a box-maker. 


it has the effect of negating the whole predicate expression. Thus the claim of (1) is consistent 
with X 's having been a bad woman, or a good butterfly, for that matter, for it is the whole 
predicate expression pa gudbi mrenu that has been contradicted by no. At any rate, sentence (1) 
does not mean, as its translation sometimes does in English, that X was a man but not a good 
one. To say the latter in Loglan, we shift the negative operator to a position immediately before 
the particular predicate word it is intended to negate. Thus: 

(3) Da pa no gudbi mrenu X was a non-good man. 


(4) Da fa no bakso madzo X will be a non-box maker (i.e., a 

maker of something other than 

Here no has the exact sense of English 'non-'. Thus in (4) X is going to make something alright, 
but not boxes. And in (3) X was a man alright, but not a good one. Precise distinctions of this 

kind can be clearly made in English--for witness these translations- -but it is not the custom of 
English speakers to do so. Instead, the difference between the meanings of (2) and (4) is usually 
suggested in spoken English by a shift in stress: 

(5) Da no fa bakso madzo X is not going to be a box-maker. 


(6) Da fa no bakso madzo X is not going to be a box-maker. 


In Loglan such logical distinctions are important enough to deserve distinct grammatical 
arrangements. These will function egually well in both the written and the spoken forms. 

The pronunciation guides are now probably supplying you with more phonetic information than 
you need. So from this point on I shall supply phonemic transcriptions of the numbered 
specimens instead of phonetic guides-that is, I shall use lei rather than [eh] or [eigh], and /da 
MREnu/ rather than [dah MREH-noo] to show the production of the sentence Da mrenu-and 
use the guide form only to give the pronunciations of new words as they are introduced. 
Transcriptions, you will see, are often more compact than the specimens themselves. More 
important, they will concentrate your attention on the stress- pause contour of the sentence as a 
whole. It is now time to do this. But you may wish to refer back occasionally to Chapter 2 to 
assure yourself of the correct pronunciation of an old sound in a new context. 

3.10 Abstraction with po pu zo 

Abstraction is one of the most powerful devices in natural language. The step from 'red' to 
'redness' must have been one of the most important linguistic advances ever made... perhaps as 
important as the invention of negation. Y et abstraction is logically one of the more obscure 
linguistic acts. Where are the things created by it, such things as Virtue, Perfection and 
Democracy? Or, for that matter, where is the color Red? It is hard to know what one is talking 
about when one uses such words. Y et to be able to see the world in terms of just such properties 
as "redness," "length" and "mass"-and not merely as endless collections of "red things," "long 
things" and "massive things"-must have been one of the linguistic reguirements for the 
development of science itself. It is hard to see how a taste for causal analysis could have 
developed in minds surrounded wholly by concrete particular things. Perhaps it was; we do not 
know. Science did develop extensively in the hands of the Greeks, and Greek is abundantly 
furnished with the machinery for talking about abstract ideas. But so were other ancient tongues, 
for example, Sanskrit, and the ancient Hindus did not raise the guestions that led the Greeks to 
science. In short, language may supply the necessary conditions of cultural events, but the 
linguistic factor is certainly never sufficient to guarantee some cultural result. 

However this may be, it is clear that if Loglan is to be, among other things, a language for 
contemporary scientific thinking, we must provide it with the apparatus of abstraction. In English 
that apparatus exists but is most irregular. There is a group of suffixes- like '-ion', '-ship', '-ness', 
'-ence', '-hood', '-acy', and '-ity'-that sometimes mean properties and sometimes mean states of 
affairs; and then there are some special words like Vice', 'wit', 'force', 'mass' and 'evil' that are 

abstract but show no outward signs of it. One "knows" they are abstractions only by "knowing" 
that they... well, refer to abstract things. Obviously we must do better than that. 

Analysis shows that at least three kinds of abstraction occur in ordinary speech. One is the 
abstraction of properties ('Honesty is a common trait among Englishmen', 'Mass is an important 
concept to physicists', and so on). Another is the abstraction of events or states of affairs (The 
race was short', 'His childhood was unusually long', 'The singing took place between 8:00 and 
8:30', and so on). And the third and currently the rarest form of abstraction is the one which 
forms the guantitative sense of some predicates (There is more blue in that picture than in this 
one', 'His love was greater than hers', There were thirteen inches of snow', and so on). There may 
be other varieties of abstraction in current use and still others may yet be invented. If so, Loglan 
can easily accommodate them. But at the moment only three abstract operators have been coined. 
These are pu, which means 'is a property of being (something)', po, which means 'is an event, 
state or condition of being (something)', and zo, which means 'is an amount of being 
(something)'. The three operators are used in grammatically identical ways. In translating 
English, the event operator po will be most commonly used. It may be that translations from 
other languages will reveal guite different patterns of abstract thought. 

Let us look at the following sentences: 

(1) Da po mrenu X is a manhood. 


(2) Da po de mrenu X is Y 's manhood (i.e., the state 

of Y's being a man). 


(3) Da pu gudbi X is a goodness (i.e., a property of 

something's being good). 

(4) Da pu de gudbi di X is a/the property of Y 's being 

better than Z. 

(5) Da zo blanu X is an amount of blue. 


(6) Da zo de blanu X is the amount of blue in Y (i.e., 

the amount of Y 's being blue). 

In each of the odd- numbered sentences an abstract operator is used generally. That is, it 
generates a predicate expression (po mrenu, pu gudbi, zo blanu) that might be applied to many 
things. Thus, there are at least as many manhoods as there are men, at least as many goodnesses 
as good things, and so on. But in the even- numbered sentences the field of application of the 
predicate has been much narrowed. For the predicate which is the basis of the abstraction has 
been furnished in each case with one or more arguments. In sentence (4), for example, the 
operator pu transforms the whole expression pu de gudbi di into a predicate of which da is the 

first and only argument. Within this predicate expression de and di are the first and second 
arguments of the predicate gudbi. 

We sense that such specified abstract predicates apply to unique things. Of course they may not. 
In (2) Y may have been a man several times and may thus have had several manhoods; in (4) Y 
may be better than Z in several ways; and so on. But these are matters of fact, not grammar. 
Grammatically the predicate expression po de mrenu is a general term; like mrenu itself it may 
in principle be applied to many things. 

We will see in the chapter on arguments how these general abstract notions can be turned into 
unique designations; how ; for example we can translate the English word 'virtue' in 'Virtue is 
nice'. Obviously the word 'virtue' is some kind of unique designation in this context; but we have 
clearly not provided for it yet. For we are still talking about predicates, and hence about the 
claims people make about the world. We have not considered yet how speakers designate the 
things about which they make those claims. Y et it is true in English at least that the chief use of 
abstract predicates is in designation. Thus the Loglan names of "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" 
have not been constructed yet. We will see, however, in the next chapter how their construction 
depends essentially on the abstract forms of predicates which we are now considering.— 

Before we leave abstract predicates, there is one feature of event- abstraction which needs 
pointing out. That is that Loglan makes no distinction between short events (happenings) and 
long ones (states of affairs). Thus the following sentences, 

(7) Da po tsani X is a sneeze (i.e., an act of 



(8) Da po mrenu X is a manhood (i.e., a state or 

condition of being a man). 


are grammatically identical; both are formed with the event-operator po. In Loglan both sneezes 
and manhoods are events. And a thing X is an event of sneezing, or a manhood, provided it is an 
interval of space- time in which, or during which, some other thing Y sneezes or is a man. 
Obviously it cannot matter logically how long Y sneezes, or how short a time he is a man. Again 
it is worth recalling that neither grammar nor logic is concerned with what is, but only with what 
might be. Can we say that his sneeze was longer than his manhood? Of course we can. It would 
be wrong to contrive a grammar which precluded such nonsense, or such irony. 

3.11 Metaphor: The Modifier-Modified Relationship 

The simplest of operations on the predicate involves no operator at all. Y et it is logically one of 
the most complicated, and historically, the most important, for it is undoubtedly the major source 
of language growth. This operation is the one by which a speaker may modify the meaning of 
one predicate simply by preceding it with another. Thus the meanings of the predicates in the 
following sentences: 

(1) Da corta mrenu X is a short man. 


(2) Da gudbi matma X is a good mother. 


(3) Da blanu hasfa X is a blue house. 


are as easily interpreted in Loglan as they are in English. Note that the modifier precedes the 
modified word. This is the most widespread arrangement among the natural languages,— and 
therefore we have followed it. In Loglan this order is uniform: it is the order of adjective- like 
words modifying noun-like ones, and of adverbial ones modifying verb-like or adjective- like 
predicates. Thus even when the modifier is adverbial in the English sense, the modifying word 
comes first in Loglan: 

(4) Da kukra prano X runs guickly (is a fast runner). 


(5) Da bilti sucmi X swims beautifully (i.e., is 

beautiful as a swimmer). 

There is a way of modifying this order that we will look at in Section 3.13 . But we must now 
inguire more closely into the meaning of such phrases. If X is a short man, does this mean that he 
is short and a man? Not necessarily; for he might be fairly tall.. .for a woman, say, or a child. All 
we can surmise is that he is short for a man; that is, a short type of man. What about blue houses? 
And beautiful swimmers? Can we expect them to be really blue? And really beautiful? All over? 
Inside and out? Certainly not; for blue houses and beautiful swimmers, like short men, are blue 
for houses and beautiful as swimmers. That is, they are blue among houses and not among skies, 
and it is their swimming that is beautiful, never mind their eyes. And good mothers? G ood as 
mothers, perhaps, but not necessarily good cooks or good wives. And so on.— 

Clearly we are dealing here with metaphorical extensions of primitive ideas. We know what a 
mother is, and a man and a house. And we know what good, blue, beautiful and short mean, as 
primitive ideas. The first time we hear the metaphor 'good mother' we are in a fair position to 
guess what the speaker means, from our knowledge of the uses of these simple predicates in the 
language. But we cannot be sure. Neither- -until one has seen one-can one be sure what a blue 
house is. How blue does a house have to be to be blue? How short is a short man? More 
puzzlingly, how watery is a water- pistol? How intellectual is an intellectual dwarf? And what is a 
bicycle pump anyway? Does it pump bicycles? Into what? 

In Loglan we surmise, with most logicians, that such guestions are unanswerable by direct 
analysis. We suppose that the meanings of predicate expressions formed of two or more 
constituent predicate ideas are like the meanings of simple predicates themselves: essentially 
unitary and unanalyzable.— A blue house is...well, a blue house. Like houses themselves, or blue 
things, you have to be shown one to really know. And intellectual dwarfs? Well, here again it is 
not the art of logical inference, but a sense of irony that helps one to understand this phrase; that 

and having heard the phrase 'intellectual giant', with which it strongly contrasts. And bicycle 
pumps? Again, the knowledge that bicycles have pneumatic tires might help the auditor guess 
what this metaphor means; and so on. But we are doing more than arguing for the utility of use 
and custom in understanding such phrases; we should also insist that all such modifier- modified 
pairs are metaphors, the humblest as well as the most exotic and obscure. And that the original 
occasions of their use represented, at those moments, the extension of the semantic machinery of 
the language into regions then unknown. Red houses and short men are commonplace, now. But 
we suppose they were not once. Water pistols are now commonplace. But we know they were 
not before someone invented and then named that innocent, modern contrivance. Star-sailors are 
not commonplace; but the word 'astronaut' is and they may be. So language grows. New 
predicates arise. And we suppose that the first step in that process is the coining of fresh 
metaphor, and that this always involves the "misuse" of some old word.— 

Let us now consider some elaborations of the modification relationship. Look at the sentence 

(6) Da mutce corta mrenu X is a very short man.— 


In English, 'very' is an adverb, 'short', an adjective, 'man', a noun. It is not grammatical in English 
to say 'X is a short very man', or 'X is a man short very'. The reason is that only adjectives 
modify nouns-or so we say, but nouns do, too-and if adjectives are to be modified, it takes an 
adverb to do so. Not so in Loglan; for look at these curious remarks: 

(7) Da mutce mrenu corta X is a very man- type of short 

thing (?!). 


(8) Da corta mutce mrenu X is a shortly very man (??!!). 


(9) Da corta mrenu mutce X is a shortly man- type very thing 

/daC RtaM RE nuM UTce/ 

All these Loglan sentences are grammatical. For any predicate can modify any other predicate in 
Loglan. Thus the Loglan- speaking mind is free to combine predicates in any way it likes. 

We predict that this grammatical freedom in using Loglan modifiers-a freedom that derives 
from the simple fact that all its predicates belong to a single part of speech- will lead to a great 
richness of metaphor in Loglan; and that this in turn may be related to the process of insight- 
formation, in any language. Thus Chinese, which is more like Loglan than English in this regard, 
is a metaphor-rich language. English, which is burdened with a fairly restrictive set of 
modification rules, is by comparison metaphor- poor. In fact 'metaphor-poor' is about as flighty a 
metaphor as you can build in English; for in it a noun has modified an adjective! This is one of 
the rarer modification styles of English, but its use is probably increasing. Apparently even the 
European languages are tending to become more like Loglan and Chinese in their increasing 
freedom of metaphor. 

3.12 G rouped Modifiers with ge 

Despite its many restrictions, the meaning of a modified predicate is sometimes very unclear in 
English. A classic case is the sentence 'It's a pretty little girls' school'. What on earth does it 
mean? A school for pretty little girls? A school for girls who are pretty little? A pretty type of 
little girls' school? A pretty type of little girls' school? Take your pick. There are at least five 
egually legitimate grammatical interpretations of this innocent remark.— 

The guestion behind this confusion in English is ; of course, what modifies what? In English we 
cannot be sure.— In Loglan we can be. For there is an operator ge [ geh] which groups the 
modifiers in a string of modifiers in such a way that what-modifies-what is clear. Look at the 
following sentences: (In them the word bilti [BEEL-tee] means 'beautiful', cmalo [SHMAH-loh] 
means 'small', nirli [NEER-lee] means 'girl', and [SHKEH-lah] ckela means 'school'.) 

(1) Da bilti cmalo ckela nirli X is a beautifully small girls' 

school (i.e., a school for girls who 
are beautifully small). 

(2) Da bilti ge cmalo nirli ckela X is beautiful for a small girls' 


(3) Da bilti cmalo ge nirli ckela X is beautifully small for a girls' 


(4) Da bilti ge cmalo ge nirli ckela X is beautiful for a small (type of) 

girls' school. 

In the absence of other markings of the predicate string- - like go and cue which we will take up 
presently-the operator ge groups everything that comes after it into what may then be regarded 
as the modified term. Thus in (2) what bUti modifies is the whole expression cmalo nirli ckela; 
X is evidently beautiful for a small girls' school. In (3) bilti modifies just the word cmalo, 
whence X is a beautifully small something. The ge operator groups nirli ckela into the single 
idea which remains to be modified, and we see that that something is a girl's-school. Thus the 
whole claim of (3) is that X is beautifully small for a girl's-school, or slightly rephrased, a girl's- 
school that is beautifully small. Sentence (4) has both the groupings that occur separately in 
sentences (2) and (3). Thus it claims thatX is a beautiful type of small type of girls'-school. 
Notice that the English phrase 'type of, while sometimes leading to awkward translations, is 
nevertheless the best all-around translator of the Loglan operator ge. If English speakers 
regularly used such a phrase to indicate how they meant their modifiers to be grouped, we could 
more often understand what they say. But they do not. And therefore what they say can often be 
interpreted in several egually correct ways.— This is, of course, just the problem of syntactic 
ambiguity. The operator ge removes a large potential source of it from the language. 

Normally the scope of ge runs to the end of the predicate string in which it appears. But 
sometimes a speaker needs to limit the scope of one of da's ge's. For this purpose the optional 
right-mark, cue, exists. In effect cue serves as a right parenthesis that cuts off the scope of the 
last ge that has been spoken. Thus in 

(5) Da bilti ge cmalo nirli cue ckela X is a beautiful smaZZ-girls' school 

(a school for beautiful small- 

the grouping effect of ge is limited by cue to the two words cmalo nirli, which thus form a 
single unit. It is as if cmalo nirli had been joined into a single hyphenated word that meant 
'small-girl'. As such it is the modificand of bilti, and the whole expression bUti ge cmalo nirli 
cue is then the modifier of ckela. (As we shall see later, in Section 3.17 , there is a hyphen-like 
mark that can effect this same modification structure with one stroke instead of two.) 

There is one caution to be observed in using ge: it can occur meaningfully between any two 
predicates in a string of predicates except the last two. Thus, cmalo ge nirli ckela is good 
Loglan, but cmalo nirli ge ckela is not. The reason is that there is nothing left to group; the last 
word, ckela, is already a single idea. So while nirli ge ckela is not ungrammatical in Loglan, it 
is redundant. Once you understand ge you will not be tempted to use it in this way. It is like 
saying that something is 'a red type of house'. Of course. But isn't that exactly what a "red house" 

3.13 Inverse Modifiers with go 

In addition to grouping some of the modifiers in a string of modifiers into something that 
functions as a single term, it is sometimes useful to produce a normally early portion of a string 
of modifiers last. This is especially useful if one wants to specify an argument of one of the 
modifying words, or wishes to surprise one's listeners by withholding mention of an unexpected 
modifier until last. As an example of the first and more common usage, suppose I want to say 
that X is a shorter-than-Y type of man. If we start with a sentence in normal word order, 

(1) Dacortamrenu X is a short man. 


it is difficult to make this specification of the modifying predicate corta . (It can be done; but just 
as in English it is awkward to do.) So we first "invert" the predicate with go, as below: 

(2) Da mrenu go corta X is a man who is short (i.e., a 

man of the short type). 

and then specify the modifying predicate corta which is now conveniently last: 

(3) Da mrenu go corta de X is a man of a type which is 

shorter than Y . 

In all these sentences, phrasing pauses before go are natural but optional. So we might have: 

(4) Da hasfa ; go blanu de X is a house of a type that is bluer 


When a pause is used, note that a comma appears in the corresponding text. 

(5) Da prano, go kukra de X is a runner of a type who is 

faster than Y (i.e., X runs faster 

In each case, inversion with go reverses the normal modifier-modified word order; and the 
modifying word is then conveniently last. 

Now there is a deceptive simplicity in all this, deceptive because the only short English 
translations we can contrive for these Loglan remarks do not guite mean what the originals do in 
Loglan. Consider the sentence: 

(6) Da matma go gudbi de 

/daM ATmagoG UD bide/ 

The simplest English translation of this sentence is 'X is a mother who is better than Y .' But 
better in what? Asa mother? Or in general? Of the English, one cannot be sure. Of the sense of 
the Loglan, we can be sure, for we know how the sentence was formed. Thus just because we 
know that gudbi is a displaced modifier of matma, we know that the phrase gudbi de-in this 
sentence at least-means 'better- as- a- mother than Y '. If we wanted to say that X is a mother and 
better- in- general thanY, we could easily do so. And we shall see how presently. But this is not 
the way. 

Here are other examples of modifier strings inverted with go: 

(7) Da nirli ckela go cmalo 


What does it mean? Exactly what Da cmalo ge nirli ckela means; for it is nothing but an 
inverted form of the same remark. Thus (7) means exactly what we mean in English when we 
say that it's a girls' school that is small. From this it follows that (7) must be eguivalent to 

(8) Da ge nirli ckela go cmalo X is a girls' school that is small. 


with its redundant ge. And it is clear that it is. For (8) ; in turn, is eguivalent in meaning to 

(9) Da cmalo ge nirli ckela X is small for a girls' school. 


as reguired. Good usage in Loglan reguires that we not use punctuation words like ge 
redundantly. So we will not ordinarily speak sentences like (8) unless we want to point 
something out in them.. .as we just have. And of course we would usually use inversion on 
sentences like (9) only if we then wanted to specify an argument of the modifier cmalo after 
doing so, as in the sentence below: 

(10) Da nirli ckela go cmalo de X is a girls' school of a type that 

is smaller than Y . 


Note that it is often impossible to translate such Loglan constructions literally into English. The 
little word ge freguently defies exact translation. But perhaps by this time it doesn't matter. For 
you may have begun to sense what the Loglan sentences mean directly, without the intervention 
of these English approximations of its very precise operations.— 

As we shall see in a later section, there are still other Loglan meanings to be teased out of the 
English sentence 'It is a pretty little girls' school 1 . But these reguire the notion of "connected" 
predicates, to which we now turn. 

3.14 Connected Predicates with e a o u and noa 

One of the simplest-and yet ultimately most powerful-devices of natural language is the one 
that enables us to make remarks about the connections between ideas. In English the words 
which permit us to talk about connections are called "conjunctions," and the most popular of 
them is 'and'. Thus in the sentence, 

(1) X is a teacher and a father. Da ditca, e farfu 


the predicate ideas 'is a teacher' and 'is a father' are connected with the conjunction 'and' and with 
the Loglan word e. (The pause before e is obligatory, by the way, as before all such connecting 
words.) In Loglan, words of this kind are called connectives, and the simplest of them are the 
four one- letter words e, a, o, and u. (The fifth one- letter word i has a special connective role 
between sentences which we will not discuss until Chapter 5.) Making connections in Loglan is 
very similar to using conjunctions in English, as the following examples show: 

(2) Da gudbi mrenu, e sadji farfu X is a good man and a wise 



(3) Da groda bakso, a cmalo hasfa X is a large box or a small house, 

and possibly both. 

(4) Da na clivi, o na brute X is now alive if and only if it is 

now breathing. 


(5) Da na clivi, u na brute X is now alive whether it is now 

breathing or not. 


Notice how simply the Loglan connections are made in contrast to the rather elaborate forms of 
the English connecting phrases. This is because connecting predicates is a grammatically simple 
operation in Loglan whereas freguently in English it is not. 

In all these sentences the speakers of both languages are making claims not about properties but 
about the connections between properties. With the connective e in (2) the predicates 'good man' 
and 'wise father' must both be true of X in order for the claimed connection to be true. Thus (2) 
claims what we will call the logical conjunction— of two ideas. With a in (3) either or both of the 
connected predicates may be true of X if the claimed connection is true, and the connection is 
false only if both predicates are false of X . Thus only if X is neither a large box nor a small 
house is (3) false. This is the inclusive sense of English 'or' ; a sense which we sometimes express 
in English with the odd expression 'and/or'. We will call this second kind of connection 
alternation, for it expresses the relation between alternatives.. .but remember that these are 
alternatives that may be taken several at a time. 

The connections made with o and u in (4) and (5) represent sharply different claims about the 
same two predicates. In (4) the connection with o is true just in case the individual predicates are 
either both true or both false of X ; thus X must be either dead and not breathing, or alive and 
breathing, for the sentence as a whole to be true. This kind of connection is called equivalence. 
In a certain rather formal sense, eguivalent predicates "mean the same thing."— In (5), however, 
the sentence as a whole is true whenever the first predicate clivi is true of X, and false otherwise, 
no matter what may be the case for the predicate na brute. Thus we may describe the u- 
connection by saying thatX 's aliveness is "independent" of its breathing. So we call the u- 
connection independence. 

Independence, eguivalence, conjunction and alternation are the four elementary logical 
operations of Loglan; and the simple one- letter words that express them are the building blocks 
out of which the whole system of Loglan connectives is constructed. For these four ways are 
obviously not the only ways two properties may be connected. There are, in principle, sixteen 
possible ways of talking about two things simultaneously and fourteen of them are linguistically 
useful. English provides for all fourteen by one circumlocution or another. Loglan provides for 
all fourteen with single words, though sometimes these words are compounds constructed from 

one of the elementary connectives a e o u combined with either nu or no. We will defer a more 
comprehensive discussion of the derivation of compound connectives until we encounter them 
again in connecting arguments and sentences. Since the Loglan system of connectives is perhaps 
the most intricate part of the language, it is best to consider it little by little rather than all at 
once. For the moment a single example of the derivation of a compound connective will suffice 
to illustrate the method. 

One of the most useful connections between ideas is the one we will call implication: the 
connection we often assert in English with the conditional expression 'If.. . then.. .'.— For example, 

(6) If it is rained on ; then it will be wet. 

is a conditional remark. It doesn't have to be rained on for the sentence to be true; neither does it 
have to be wet. For the sentence is false only in the joint event of its being rained on and not 
being wet. Now it turns out that every implication is eguivalent to an apparently more complex 
statement involving alternatives. Thus (6) is eguivalent to: 

(7) Either it won't be rained on or it will be wet, and possibly both. 

The eguivalence of (6) and (7) can be sensed by reflecting that all instances of rain produce 
wetness but wetness can occur without rain; the sprinkler may have been left on. Therefore, if it 
is not rained on, then the lawn may be wet anyway and the claims of both (6) and (7) will still be 
true. Similarly, if it's not wet and it didn't rain then (6) is still true-and so, even more obviously, 
is (7). Apparently all we deny with (6) is that it could be rained on and not be wet. But this is 
exactly what we deny with (7). 

For what (7) denies is that both its alternatives are false. And this denial means that it will both 
fail to not be rained on and fail to be wet. But to fail to not be rained on is to be rained on. Thus 
what (7) denies is identical to what (6) denies, namely that it is rained on and fails to be wet. And 
we have already seen that both (6) and (7) are true in all other cases. Thus the connection each 
makes between rain and wetness is the same connection, no matter how different they sound in 

Now let us look at the Loglan. The Loglan connective meaning 'if... then...' or '...implies...' is noa 
[noh-ah]. This compound word is derived from the elementary connecting expression no.. .a..., an 
alternation whose first term is negated. The predicates for 'is rained on' and 'is wet' are crina 
[SHREE-nah] and cetlo [SHET-loh]. Thus (6) becomes: 

(8) D a f a crina, noa fa cetlo— That X will be rained on implies 

(that it) will be wet. 
/daf aC RIna.noaf aC ETlo/ 

We now use the simple connective a for inclusive 'or' to translate (7): 

(9) Da no fa crina, a fa cetlo X will not be rained on and/or 

will be wet. 


A great change has been wrought in these ideas. For we now immediately sense that the Loglan 
sentences in (8) and (9) mean exactly the same thing. For to the speaker of Loglan, the very word 
which expressed the connection of implication (noa) exhibits its derivation from the words for 
alternation and negation (no and a) as a matter of immediate perception. Thus to use the 
connecting scheme da no.. .a... in Loglan is just another way of using the connection da.. .noa... 
in Loglan; and it is clear to the speaker of Loglan that it is. It is as if speakers of English used the 
curious phrase 'not- and- or' instead of 'if... then...' when they wanted to talk about conditional 
ideas. Would it then be difficult to see that 'It rained not-and-or it's wet' meant exactly the same 
thing as 'It did not rain and- or it's wet? 

We suppose that it would not. We suppose that it will not be difficult for speakers of Loglan to 
make this same transformation between ideas. For in Loglan, as in English, the connections 
made with no.. .a... and ...noa... are simply different expressions of the same idea. In English it is 
devilish difficult to see this. In Loglan it will be difficult not to see it. For in Loglan the 
derivation of all complex connectives from simple ones is always plainly hinted in the structure 
of the words themselves.— 

Now the connected expressions we have been discussing in this section are not the only ways in 
which connectives may be used. Nor are predicates the only expressions which may be 
connected. For not only may arguments and sentences be similarly connected, but so may the 
predicate modifiers of other predicate words. We will take up this last variety of predicate 
connection in a later section of this chapter, while connected arguments and sentences will be 
dealt with in later chapters. 

3.15 Mixed Predicates with ze 

Some expressions of the natural languages look like connections but are not. Consider the 
following sentence in English. Speaking, perhaps, of a child's ball we say: 

(1) It is red and blue. 

Now if we are not cautious we will translate this expression into Loglan with e, getting the 
connected predicate in: 

(2) Da redro, e blanu X is red and blue. 


But (2) means that X is red and X is blue. For if a claim made with e is to be true, then both the 
connected parts of the predicate must be true of their common argument independently. This 
may be true of some X 's, but it is not normally true of children's toys. If we say-in English-that 
a physical object is red and blue, what we usually mean is that its surface is striped, or mottled, 
or checkered, or that in some other way the two predicated properties are mixed up in it. In 
carefully written English we sometimes express this claim about a mixture of properties by 
linking up the words in the "mixed predicate" with hyphens: 

(3) X is red-and-blue. 

From such remarks we do not normally grant either of the inferences 'Then it's red' or 'Then it's 
blue'. For we normally want to distinguish between red balls, blue balls and red-and-blue balls. 
Thus (2) is false of any X if (3) is true of it. 

In Loglan we use the operator ze to form mixed predicates of this kind. Thus, the Loglan 
translation of (3) is: 

(4) Da redro ze blanu It is (mixed) red-and-blue. 


The linkage with ze is not a connection in the logical sense at all. For a connection, we have 
seen, involves a claim about (at least) two other claims about the world, and sentence (4) asserts 
only one claim, namely that X is red- and- blue. There are many mixtures of properties in nature. 
In Loglan we use mixed predicates to talk about them: 

(5) Da pa dzoru ze prano de X walked-and-ran to Y . 

/dapaD ZO ruzePRA node/ 

Did he walk to Y ? No. Did he run to Y ? No. For let us suppose his behavior was a mixture of the 
two activities. He walked for a while, ran for a while, then walked again, and so on, and finally 
got to Y . He walked and ran.. .well, intermittently, as we might helplessly say in English. 
Sentence (5) says the same complex thing tersely and unmistakably in Loglan. 

A final example. Suppose someone wishes to characterize an offspring of a tiger and a lioness in 
Loglan (in English, the single word 'tiglon' has been coined):— 

(6) Datigrazesimba It's a mixture of a tiger and a lion. 


And again, the crucial test. Is it a tiger? No. Is it a lion? No. It is a literal-in this case, biological- 
-mixture of the two. 

Now the crucial logical property of the mixing operator ze is that it disallows just those 
inferences that e allows. If you make this mistake about tiglons, by assuming that they are also 
lions, you may be caught up in some unsuspected tigerish guality of the beast. Again Loglan 
makes an important logical distinction in both speech and writing that is easily neglected in 
English. One can make the distinction in English, of course, for we have just done so. But the 
point is, it is not easy to do so both briefly and in a way that will be easily understood. In Loglan, 
it is both easy to do so and impossible to be misunderstood. For the little word ze means nothing 
else, and is as easy to use as 'and'. 

3.16 Internally Connected Predicates with ce ca co cu noca 

Suppose we want to say that someone is a father who is both good and wise. We want therefore 
to make a connection between the two predicates in 'He's a good father 1 and 'He's a wise father'. 
We have already considered one way of forming such connections in Loglan. 

Thus we say: 

( 1 ) D a gudbi f arfu, e sadj i f arfu X is a good father and a wise 


/daG U D biFA Rf u.eS A D j iFA Rf u/ 

But the word farfu seems unnecessarily repetitive here. Is there any way to say 'He's a good and 
wise father' in Loglan as clearly as we do in English? 

Of course. But to do so unambiguously-which is the constant aim of Loglan grammar- -reguires 
an entirely different series of Loglan connectives, namely ce ca co and cu [sheh shah shoh 
shoo].— Recall that the connectives e a o and u were used between predicate expressions, as in 
Da gudbi, a sadji ('X is good and wise'). We will now see how this new series of connectives is 
used only within predicate expressions. Thus they form connections inside what is grammatically 
a single, if elaborate predicate, expression. Y et we will also see that the connections they assert 
are of the same logical type. Thus ce, like e, asserts conjunction; ca, like a, asserts alternation; 
co, like o, asserts eguivalence; and so on. The same claim that is made with e in (1) can be made 
with ce in (2) below: 

(2) Da gudbi ce sadji farfu X is a good and wise father. 


We will now call expressions like gudbi ce sadji farfu internally connected predicates. They 
represent internally complex ideas. Note that we do not pause before ce and kin.— 

Here are some other sentences with, internally connected predicates: 

(3) Da groda ce redro bakso X is a big, red box (i.e., big and 


(4) Da kamla ca godzi, trena X is a coming or going (pause) 



Note that a pause before trena would be guite natural.. .in both languages. In Loglan, as in 
English, such "phrasing pauses" are, of course, optional. In the haste of rapid speech, pauses of 
this kind are often omitted. But whenever pauses are intended in the spoken form, they are 
represented in the written form by commas. Remember that, unlike other languages, Loglan is 
audio-visually isomorphic. This means that a writer of Loglan, like a composer of music, may 
compose his text in a way which will indicate how he intends it to be read aloud. 

In English we would prefer the inverse form 'It's a train which is coming or going' for sentence 
(4). It is possible of course to invert the predicate in Loglan, too. Thus for (4) we may say: 

(5) Da trena, go kamla ca godzi X is a train which is coming or 

going, and possibly both. 

It is hard to find instances of eguivalence and independence used internally in English. Here are 
some rather strained examples: 

(6) Da forli cu kukra, prano X is a strong-whether fast or not- 

- runner. 


(7) Da clivi co brute, nimla X is a living-if and only if a 


Again, all these pauses are optional. Note that to forge such internal connections in English it is 
often useful to pause rather definitely on both sides of the internally connected word or phrase. 
This is suggested by the use of dashes (--) in the English translations given above. In contrast 
the Loglan forms are simple and swift, although a pause before the modificand of such connected 
modifiers is often helpful to one's auditor. Moreover, the Loglan forms accommodate the rarer 
forms of internal connection-like eguivalence, independence and implication-just as easily as 
they do the more common forms. As a conseguence, internal eguivalence, independence and 
implication may not be so rare in Loglan. 

Here is an example of internal implication which is easy to say in Loglan but difficult to be clear 
about in English: 

(8) Da crina noca denli cetlo X is a rainy-only if a wet-day. 


For just as noa is derived from no.. .a, so the internal connection noca is derived from 
One can easily imagine logically intricate predications of this kind becoming far more freguent 
in spoken Loglan than they have ever been in natural speech. 

So far we have considered only internally connected modifiers, such as gudbi ('good') and sadji 
('wise'). But the modified parts of metaphors, that is, their "modificands", may also be connected. 
Thus the external connection in: 

(9) Da gudbi mermeu [mehr-MEIGH- X is a good husband (married- 
oo ], e gudbi farfu man) and a good father. 


may be as easily transformed into an internal connection as the connection between modifiers. 

(10) Da gudbi mermeu ce farfu X is a good husband and father. 

/daG UD bimerM EuceFA Rfu/ 

Notice that in all the cases we have considered so far the internal connection formed with ce, ca, 
co, etc., is assumed to connect only the two immediately adjacent predicate words. Thus, in the 
string gudbi mermeu ce farfu, the connective ce connects just mermeu and farfu, and each of 
these must then be taken to be modified by gudbi. If we meant to say that X is a good husband 
and father, without wishing to commit ourselves to the goodness of X 's fatherhood, we would 
not use an internal connective at all but the external connective e: Da gudbi mermeu, e farfu. In 
this sentence the predicate expressions gudbi mermeu and farfu act in parallel, so to speak, as 
coordinate predicates of their common argument Da. But suppose we wish to connect a two- 
word modifying phrase to a one- word one as internal modifiers of a common modified term. 
Suppose, for example, we wished to say that someone is a very good father and a wise father 
without repeating the word 'father 1 . But Da mutce gudbi ce sadji farfu does not say that. It says 
that X is a very good father and a very wise one; for ce connects only gudbi and sadji, each of 
which must then be taken both to be modified by mutce and to modify farfu. 

In English text we use punctuation with commas, dashes, hyphens or underlining to make such 
subtle distinctions, and in English speech, an elaborate combination of intonation, stress and 
pause. But even then we cannot be certain of conveying such ideas with precision. 

3.17 Extending Scope with ci cui 

In Loglan we have another pair of spoken punctuation words ci [shee] and cui [shwee] which we 
may use to extend the scope of an internal connective beyond the immediately adjacent predicate 
word. Ci has an effect rather like that of an English hyphen, but the kind that is used between 
words, not within them.. .a distinction that is difficult to make in English but obvious in Loglan, 
where our hyphens are of different kinds. The interverbal hyphen ci may be used in many other 
contexts than extending connective scope, however. For example, the claim of sentence (5) of 
Section 3.12 may be more economically written with ci: 

(1) Da bilti cmalo ci nirli ckela X is a beautiful smd/-girls' school 

(a school for beautiful small- 

When connectives are in the neighborhood, their scope may be extended in either direction by ci: 

(2) Da mutce ci sadji ce gudbi farfu X is a very- wise, and a good, 


/daM UTceciS A D j iceG UD biFA Rfu/ 

(3) Da mutce ce gudbi ci sadji farfu X is an extreme, and a wisely 

good, father. 
/daM UTceceG UD biciS A D j iFA Rfu/ 

In contrast cui is like a left- parenthesis: it announces the beginning of a string of two or more 
predicate words which will ultimately be connected to an ensuing word or string of words. Thus 
the sense of (2) can be egually well conveyed by: 

(4) Da cui mutce sadji ce gudbi farfu X is a (very wise) and a good, 


/dacuiM UTceS A D j iceG UD biFA Rf u/ 

If we wish to extend the scope of an internal connective beyond both of the single predicate 
words adjacent to it, we may either use ci's on both sides (the pauses are phrasing pauses and 
optional and nurmue [NOOR-mweh] is derived from nu mutce and means 'moderate' or 

(5) Da nurmue ci gudbi, ce mutce ci sadji X is a moderately-good, and very- 
farfu wise, father. 


or a cui on the left and a ge...cue pair on the right: 

(6) Da cui nurmue gudbi, ce ge mutce X is a moderately good, and a 
sadji cue, farfu very wise, father. 


Some Loglanists prefer the hyphen- like word ci over the parenthesis- like cui and ge...cue 
because linking with an infix like ci is usually more economical. But there are some things that 
cannot be said with ci. These can always be said with the bulkier apparatus of cui and ge...cue. 
In the interests of logical completeness, then, as well as multiplying our options, these two 
systems of grouping words and extending the scope of connectives exist side by side in Loglan. 

Consider a final example. In this one the Loglan pattern of spoken hyphens is very similar to a 
rare but uneguivocal style of written English: 

(7) Da sadji, ce mutce ci gudbi junti ci X is a wise and very-good young- 
mermeu, ce farfu husband and father. 


This grouping of elements-which the hyphens show so clearly in both Loglan and written 
English-is difficult to express unmistakably in spoken English. If we wanted to uses parentheses 
and brackets to show this grouping, we could rewrite (7) as 

(7') Da [sadji ce (mutce ci gudbi)] [(junti ci mermeu) ce farfu] 

This is, of course, exactly the way machines or other knowing auditors will parse (7). 

There is a style of "punctuated" Loglan text in which hyphenating y's are represented by hyphens 
(-), number-words by numerals, letter-words by letter- characters, and in which the logical 
connectives are sometimes represented by their symbols. In this style the word ci may be 
replaced by a low hyphen (a hyphen dropped to the baseline: 

(7") Da sadji ce mutce_gudbi junti_mermeu ce farfu 

The interverbal hyphens are pronounced [shee] as before. But from this written formulation it is 
immediately clear to the eye what the ear may only have guessed, namely that we may infer the 
conjunction of four separate claims from this sentence: (i) Da sadji juntimermeu, that X is 
wise for a young husband; (ii) Da mutce_gudbi junti_mermeu, that X is very good for a young 
husband; (iii) Da sadji farfu, that X is a wise father; and (iv) Da mutcegudbi farfu, that he is 
also a very good father. Incidentally, in sentences (ii) and (iv) the ci's between mutce and gudbi 
have become redundant. Good usage would therefore dictate (ii 1 ) Da mutce gudbi 
junti_mermeu and (iv 1 ) Da mutce gudbi farfu, for "grouping left" is what unmarked predicate 
strings in Loglan do automatically.— 

This is perhaps more than one can say univocally with an internally- connected predicate 
expression in spoken English. Note however that in written English this rare hyphenating style 
would do the clarifying job just as well as the Loglan hyphen does in Loglan. The only 
difference is that the Loglan hyphens are spoken. So their clarifying role is available to the 
speaker as well as to the writer of Loglan.— 

Let us now consider some of the English ambiguities that are resolved by these devices. Suppose 
someone says 'It's a fast bicycle pump'. Does he mean that it's a pump for fast bicycles? A fast 
type of bicycle pump? Or a pump which is both fast and for bicycles? These meanings are almost 
impossible to distinguish in spoken English, no matter what intonation or pause- stress pattern 
one adopts. In fact we rely almost wholly on plausibility inferences from the context in which the 
speech occurs to resolve such meanings in English. Asa conseguence there is a limit to the new 
meanings we can produce with any hope of being understood. 

Not so in Loglan. The word for 'pump' is dampa [DAHM-pah]. 'Bicycle' is a complex notion in 
Loglan, as it is in English, being derived from two elementary notions: the combining form of to 
('two'), which is tor- [tawr], and the word for 'wheel' which is krilu [KREE-loo]. So torkrilu 
[tawr-KREE-loo] is the reguired word. (The English word 'bicycle' is also derived from two 
primitive roots, but one is Latin 'bi-' and the other Greek 'cycle'!) And 'fast', we already know, is 
kukra. With this trio of predicates we can now assert the three possible meanings of 'It's a fast 
bicycle pump.' The version which is grammatically simplest in Loglan is: 

(8) Da kukra torkrilu dampa X is a fast bicycle pump (that is, a 

pump for fast bicycles). 

Here, as we learned in the section on metaphor, each predicate modifies the next word in the 
string. Like 'pretty little girls' in English, the first word modifies the second, which so-modified 

modifies the third. The next most simple construction can be made either with the grouping 
operator ge: 

(9) Da kukra ge torkrilu dampa X is fast for a bicycle pump. 


Or with the phrasing hyphen ci: 

(10) Da kukra torkrilu ci dampa X is a fast bicycle- pump. 


In (9), the operator ge causes all that follows to be treated as a single term; and in (10) ci links 
torkrilu ci dampa into a single term. Thus in both utterances kukra modifies not torkrilu, but 
the unified phrase, either torkrilu ci dampu or ge torkrilu dampa depending on which 
grouping option the speaker has chosen. Accordingly, from either (9) or (10) we may infer that X 
is fast among bicycle- pumps. This is the meaning that plausibility inference would probably 
most often assign to the original English phrase. The difference between the two Loglan 
renderings is a matter of personal style. Some loglanists use ge in preference to ci in these kinds 
of structures, others use ci in preference to ge.— 

Finally, the third and most complicated interpretation of 'It's a fast bicycle pump' involves an 
internally connected modifier: 

( 1 1 ) D a kukra ce torkrilu dampa X is (both) a fast (pump) and a 

bicycle pump. 

Here both kukra and torkrilu modify dampa. In written English we would have some chance of 
communicating this implausible notion (after all, no bicycle pump is really very fast among 
pumps) with a comma between the two modifiers-thus 'It's a fast, bicycle pump'-hoping that, on 
the model of 'It's a big, red box' and many other sentences of this form, the reader would 
understand what we meant. But there is no guarantee of the reader's making the right guess even 
in written English. For 'It's a fast bicycle pump'-which now seems oddly ungrammatical-can 
also be thought to have the meaning of Loglan sentence (8). 

The point is that English is ambiguous, and rather wonderfully so. Loglan is not. Therefore, for 
most English sentences, there is no hope of translating them into Loglan with any exactness, 
simply because to find an exact translation of an ambiguous remark one must find a sentence in 
the target language which has exactly the same set of possible meanings as the original sentence 
has in the source language. This objective can be approximately met when the source and target 
languages are closely related natural tongues. And therein lies a large part of the translator's art. 
But it is not possible in Loglan. To translate into Loglan is like doing a philosophical analysis: 
One must decide what the original sentence "really means." This is not always possible, if only 
because the speakers of natural languages often "really mean" things that are really ambiguities! 

It is perhaps an appalling thought that our minds may be helplessly filled with grammatical puns. 
But it is just this possibility which analysis of this kind reveals. 

Let us look once more at the intriguing remark 'It's a pretty little girls' school' from the point of 
view we have just uncovered. On the pattern of 'It's a big, red box' (Da groda ce redro bakso) it 
is clear that we must now count certain connections amongst these modifiers as among the 
possible legitimate interpretations of this sentence. In a previous section we considered the 
various ways in which the string of modifiers in a corresponding Loglan sentence might be 
grouped or not grouped with ge and its optional right-mark cue. There were five such ways: (i) 
Da bilti cmalo nirli ckela, (ii) Da bilti ge cmalo nirli ckela, (iii) Da bilti ge cmalo nirli cue 
ckela, (iv) Da bilti cmalo ge nirli ckela, and (v) Da bilti ge cmalo ge nirli ckela. We must now 
consider whether certain internal connections with ce may not yield egually plausible 
interpretations of this remark. (The other logical connections seem not to occur implicitly in 
English.) In fact ce does permit several new interpretations of the original remark: 

(12) Da bilti ce cmalo nirli ckela It's a beautiful and small girls' 

school (that is, a school for girls 
who are beautiful and small). 

(13) Da bilti ce cmalo ge nirli ckela It's beautiful and small for a girl's 


Now a speaker of 'It's a pretty little girls' school' might easily intend either of these two 
additional constructions. But how many more are there? It turns out that there are twenty-two 
clear and distinct ways in which the four Loglan predicate words may be strung together in this 
order and either connected with ce, or grouped with ge and cue or ci, or both. Only thirteen of 
these twenty-two Loglan sentences are legitimate interpretations of 'It's a pretty little girls' 
school', however; for the other nine constructions, while clear enough in Loglan, simply cannot 
be the intended meanings of the English remark. Still, thirteen is rather a lot. The English 
sentence is richer in interpretations than one at first suspects. On the other hand, that there are so 
many egually legitimate interpretations of any English sentence means that there is a substantial 
amount of ambiguity in that language, much more than we are ever aware of in speech.— 

In any case we have found in these examples an area of Loglan grammar which not only 
accommodates the rich intricacy of a great natural tongue, but far exceeds it. For simply by 
recognizing these two grammatical operations among modifiers- conjunction with ce and 
grouping with ge or ci, both of which we evidently if unconsciously perform in speaking 
English-and then making all the logically possible combinations of these operations explicitly 
available to the speaker of Loglan (as well as the full battery of logical connections instead of 
only one) we may surmise that we have exceeded the modification provisions of all the natural 
tongues. What that may mean, in time, to the speaker of Loglan, is hard to guess. But there are 
some interesting possibilities which we will consider in the closing section of this chapter. First, 
however, we must consider briefly how internally mixed modifiers are formed. 

3.18 Internally Mixed Predicates with ze 

Just as we found that it is possible to confuse a connected predicate with a mixed one ; so it is 
possible to confuse an internally connected pair of modifiers with a mixed pair. Thus 

(1) It is a red-and-blue ball, 
presents the same problem in analysis as 

(2) It is red-and-blue. 

for both sentences involve mixed predicate notions. Thus it is incorrect to translate (1) by Da 
redro ce blanu balma (balma means 'ball') for the same reason that it was incorrect to translate 
(2) by Da redro e blanu. The same ze we use to mix whole predicates, as it were, we may now 
use without ambiguity to mix their parts. Thus with a phrasing pause (1) becomes 

(3) Da redro ze blanu balma X is a red-and-blue (pause) ball. 


from which, as from (2), we may not infer either Da redro balma or Da blanu balma. The 

modified parts of metaphors may also be mixed: 

(4) Da pelto tigra ze simba X is a yellow (pause) tiger- and- 

/daPELtoTIG razeSIMba/ 

Or both modified and modifying parts may be mixed: 

(5) Da pelto ze nigra tigra ze simba X is a yellow- and- black (pause) 

tiger- and- lion. 


If all this seems reminiscent of the structure for forming internal connections with ce ca co and 
cu ; what you have probably guessed is correct. The grammar of ze is modeled on that of ce. But 
logically its meaning is guite different. 

3.19 Forethought CotmectiaiswitlikakekokukaiKi 

The connective words with which we have so far dealt are essentially "afterthought" connectives. 
They permit a speaker to insert connections in his speech as he goes along, so to speak. One 
starts to say 'Bob is a student of Greek' and having got the word 'student' out, one remembers that 
John teaches Greek, too, and continues '...and a teacher of Greek'. This is convenient; but there 
are certain things that cannot be said in this careless way. For example, it takes forethought to 
say John is both a student of Greek and either a lecturer or a tutor of mathematics.' The 

'both... and...' and 'either.. .or...' forms of English imply forethought. Moreover they permit us to 
deal with structures of a higher order of logical complexity than would be possible without them. 
We need a series of such forethought connectives in Loglan. So let us build one. 

We generate the new forethought connectives in the following way. We put the consonant /k/ in 
front of the simple (one-letter) afterthought connectives we already know. These are the four 
one- letter words a e o u; and we know that they mean 'and/or' ; 'and', 'if and only if and 'whether'. 
Moreover, we know that they are used as infixes in the schemata ...a..., ...e..., ...o... and ...u.... 
Putting Ik/ in front of them gives us the series of prefixes ka ke ko ku [kah keh koh koo]. We 
will speak this k- marked prefix ahead of any pair of predicate expressions we wish to connect in 
a forethoughtful way. Finally, we will separate the two connected predicates with the special k- 
marked infix ki [kee]. The result is the four schemata,, and 
We can now translate these four Loglan schemata into the four English forethought forms 
'either... or.. . ; and possibly both', 'both... and...', 'if and only if.. .then...' and 'whether..., ...', 

So much for the four simple connections, the ones that do not involve negation or conversion. 
But what about the noa- connection, implication, which does involve negation? Well; we recall 
that the afterthought schema ...noa... ('...only if...') "really means" (was derived from) no.. .a... 
('not. .and/or...'), which is just another way of saying that an implication is an alternation with its 
first term negated. How do we express this important notion forethoughtfully? Simple. We go 
back to what implication really means, that is, to its deriving schema. When we do this, we see 
immediately that at least one way of saying no.. .a... forethoughtfully is ka, which is the 
same as saying 'either not. .and/or..., and possibly both' in English. Having got this far, all we 
have left to do is weld the phrase ka no into a single word; and we do this by replacing the 
negative no with the negative suffix -noi. The result is, which I expect the reader 
will now agree is an extraordinarily transparent rendering of the logical meaning lying behind 
English 'iL.then...'. 43 

Now let us use these k-marked connectives to join some predicates. Here is a forethought 
conjunction of predicates: ke prano ki sucmi. It might be used in such a sentence as 

(1) Da ke prano ki sucmi X both runs and swims. 


as might be said of an athlete, say. In Loglan the same two predicates may be joined in an 

(2) Da kanoi prano ki sucmi *X if runs, then swims (i.e., If X 

runs, thenX swims). 

As the English part of the example discloses we do not use forethought implications between 
predicates in English. In Loglan, we often do. 

Given this forethought way of speaking, we can make any intended grouping pattern within a 
seguence of connected predicates unmistakably clear. For example, 

(3) Da ke prano ki ka sucmi ki valti X both runs and either swims or 

/dakePRA nokikaSUC mikiV A Lti/ 

Clearly this means thatX runs, and, in addition, thatX either swims or jumps.. .presumably the 
speaker has forgotten which. With ordinary afterthought connectives, this particular grouping of 
terms cannot be conveyed.. .at least not when spoken in that order. Thus 

(4) Da prano, e sucmi, a valti X runs and swims, or jumps. 


means that X both runs and swims, or X jumps.. .and again the speaker has apparently forgotten 
which. Notice that the trailing expressions a valti and 'or jumps' are genuine afterthoughts in 
both languages.. .always in Loglan and usually in English. By this we mean that they are added 
onto already complete thoughts. Thus, in the following sentence, Da prano was complete before 
e sucmi was added. 

(5) Da prano, e sucmi X runs, and swims. 


And in (4), Da prano, e sucmi was complete before a valti was added. It is in this sense that the 
a e o u noa series are afterthought connectives. They add connections to already completely 
formed ideas. Thus, 

(6) X runs., .and swims or jumps. 

cannot be the sense of Loglan sentence (4) no matter how one pauses in it. The reason is that the 
connectives in (4) are afterthought connectives and will not group that way. To obtain the sense 
of English (6), which is of course the sense of (3), one must use at least one forethought 
connective. Here is the sense of (3) and (6) as minimally marked: 

(7) Da prano, e ka sucmi ki valti X runs, and either swims or 


When used with predicates, connectives of the ka-series are assumed to connect whole predicate 
expressions- not just predicate words-unless they occur non- initially in a predicate string, that is 
to say, inside one. Thus, in 

(8) Da ke nurmue ckano ki sadji farfu X is both moderately kind and a 

wise father. 

will be taken to embrace nurmue ckano ('moderately kind') on the left--nurmue may be 
pronounced either [NOOR-mweh] or [noor-MOO-eh], as you prefer-and sadji farfu ('wise 
father') on the right. But in 

(9) Da nurmue ke ckano ki sadji farfu X is moderately both kind and 

wise as a father (i.e., a moderately 
kind father and a moderately wise 


the connection embraces only the two predicate words ckano and sadji. In other words, 
inside predicate strings, has the same one- word scope as the internal connectives of the 
ca-series. Outside them, it has the scope of a-connectives. 

One conseguence of this arrangement is that the first term in a predicate string cannot be k- 
connected.. .unless that string is the operand of a description; see Section 4.8 . But among the 
predicate strings we are considering in this chapter, the in the following sentence 

(10) Da ke nurmue ki ckano sadji farfu X is both a moderate (person) and 

a kindly wise father (a father who 
is wise in a kindly way). 
/dakeNURmuekiC K A no S A D j iFA Rf u/ 

connects the whole predicate expressions nurmue and mrenu sadji farfu. So it cannot mean X 
is both a moderately and a kindly wise father.' The sense of the latter can be expressed in Loglan, 
of course, and indeed very simply: 

(11) Da nurmue ce ckano sadji farfu X is a moderately and kindly wise 



But it cannot be done with . In the vernacular of Loglan grammarians, the "head predas 
of pred-strings may not be kekked" unless they are to be used in descriptions. We will see what 
this restriction means when we study descriptions in Section 4.8 . 

3.20 Metaphor and Insight 

We have seen in the last few sections how the devices for reporting the internal structure of one's 
metaphors are in Loglan unusually clear. Moreover, the freedom with which one can modify any 
predicate word of the language with any other predicate word should lead, in Loglan, to an 
unusually large store of potential metaphors in which to clothe one's ideas. Through both these 
characteristics, the structure of Loglan should facilitate the coinage of new ideas. For because the 
speaker of Loglan will be able to speak clearly although metaphorically, there will be some point 
in doing so, the point of being understood. And because any predicate which occurs to him is a 
legitimate modifier of any other predicate, there will be some ease in doing so, the ease of 

unbridled choice. We can ; I think, confidently expect the play of metaphor to be rich and strong 
in Loglan speech. 

But what has metaphor to do with thought? If it were our purpose to construct a language that 
would best serve the poetic impulse in man ; then to enlarge the veins of metaphor in that 
language would perhaps be our chief concern. But it is not. Our purpose is to facilitate thought, 
whatever thought may turn out to be. If ; in doing so, we also enrich other functions of the 
language, so much the better. But our hand must first be moved by the reguirements of thought. 

For a long time philosophers believed that there were, in the main, just two varieties of thought: 
deduction, or the movement of the mind from the general to the particular, and induction, or its 
movement from the particular to the general. By deductive thinking we prove our mathematics 
and grind out the conseguences of our theories. By inductive thinking we survey data, examine 
trends, and form new hypotheses by extending what we find beyond those data and those trends. 
Viewed this way, thinking is a single, two-way street. We deduce going one way; we induce 
going the other. 

For some time now we have known that this traditional schema is too neat. Where do we get the 
theories from which we then happily deduce? From what do we derive the fresh insight with 
which we look again at the old world and happily find new data in it? How, in short, does 
novelty in either thought or perception arise? For neither new premises nor new facts can be got 
either from deduction or from induction, as these processes are presently understood. 

The fact is the mind creates bold new hypotheses, fresh hunches, new ways of looking in old 
corners of the world in ways which we as yet only dimly understand. And when it does, it seems 
to obey no law of logic that we yet understand. In fact, insight- formation seems to be a wholly 
illogical process on our present understanding of that word. Even so, the American philosopher, 
C. S. Peirce, once called this third variety of thinking "abduction" to distinguish it from the other 
two, and hoped to found a logic for it that would be distinct from, and yet joined to, the logics of 
deduction and induction that we know so well. So far that new abductive logic has not developed 
far beyond the rudimentary state in which Peirce left it, though the mathematician Polya (1954) 
has perhaps gone as far as anyone toward that new logic with his analysis of the art of plausible 
reasoning in the mathematical domain. But at the present time we can only report that while very 
much is known about the arts of deductive and inductive thinking, almost nothing is known 
about the art of generating insight. For this, in the end, is what Peirce's abductive logic will be 

Y et we have insight, and insights about insight. And one of them is that scientific and 
mathematical hypotheses arise by the same, or by a very similar, mental process as the one by 
which a poet coins new metaphor; and that is apparently by the free combination of old elements 
in new patterns. Let us see how this might arise. (But first let us borrow the Loglan variables da, 
de, di, etc., and use them as genderless, numberless and caseless English pronouns hereafter.) 

Let us note that poets are not content with red houses and tall men. Whatever a poet's business is, 
it forces da outside the domain of stale metaphor which is the "good usage" common in da's time. 
What da wants to write about, and us to see, is evidently what we have not seen before. And da 

will use language we have not heard before to make us see it. Like the logician, the poet is intent 
on taking our linguistic blinkers off. But unlike de, da makes no new languages, but simply sets 
off boldly for the unused regions of the old. Convinced that we are blinded by usage, da 
transcends that usage by coining new images, new predicates, new ways of looking at new 
worlds. That the number of predicates in every language seems implacably to grow may be in 
large measure the result of da's poetic labors; or that our stock of predicate ideas is now 
immensely large may be the accumulated result of the poetic impulse in us all. 

The second thing to notice is that poetry tends to be ungrammatical. For not only does the poet's 
search for metaphor drive da outside the bounds of ordinary usage, but it apparently also sends 
da out to look for new methods of constructing sentences as well. There is little that is "good 
English" in e.e. cummings or Emily Dickinson. For these poets invented new parts of speech and 
new methods for combining them, as well as coining new ways of using what they found at 
hand. Evidently the domain of English as it stood was not large enough to contain the vision of 
these poets. English was the tool de used; but English was also the prison from whose walls de 

Why is this? And what does the linguistic law- breaking of the poet have to do with thought? 

The accounts of scientific and mathematical invention set down long afterward by the scientists 
and scholars who made them seem to suggest that there is a lawlessness in scientific creation that 
is strikingly similar to the linguistic prison-breaking of the poet. Orderly, careful surveys of the 
possibilities seem not to lead in any regular way to new theorems, new hypotheses, new concepts 
or new hunches about the world. Instead, the process of invention seems to look something like 
this: The worker steeps da's mind in what is known about some unsolved problem that interests 
da. Then da relaxes, plays, toys with ideas, or better yet, forgets about them for a time. Then, one 
day while boarding a train (Poincare), taking a bath (Archimedes), huddling by a stove 
(Descartes), or watching a falling apple (Newton), the new idea flashes, descends, strikes. The 
person who is now to become renowned hastens to write it down. Nearly everybody to whom 
such an experience has occurred is convinced that the unconscious mind played a great role in 
de's invention. To be sure, it is the conscious mind that verifies the new idea, works out its 
conseguences, joins it solidly to the old; and these activities all involve the most disciplined 
departments of the mind. But it is apparently the unconscious mind that, once supplied with the 
elements with which it toys, seems to do the actual abductive work of inventing new ideas. 

The unconscious part of the human mind is, as Freud told us, among other things a law-breaker. 
Not only does it break moral laws (the dreamer murders) but also physical laws (the dreamer 
flies). Is it not also possible that among the laws it breaks are the laws of linguistic usage? The 
laws of plain- speaking? The canons of "common sense"? Ultimately the laws of grammar itself? 
If so, then what has happened unconsciously in the thinker may be very similar to what happens 
consciously in the poet: the fancied flight; the illegal leap; in short, the contrivance of new 

A new metaphor, if it is a good one, points to some hitherto-unnoticed corner of the world. What 
is in this corner may not be important; or it may be. If it is important, beautiful, or permanently 
interesting to its hearers, it supplies a new predicate: the wine- dark sea, or the "uncuttable" atoms 

with which the poet- scientists of ancient Greece endowed our modern world. If it is not, the 
unconscious thinker or the conscious poet tries again; for da is unembarrassed by the bizarre, the 
unseemly, the "illogical" content of the creative mind. 

If there is, then, this profound but unconscious connection between scientific invention and the 
linguistic law- breaking which goes on semiconsciously in the poet's mind, then a language which 
encouraged the poetic art of metaphor might also encourage the growth of Peirce's logical art of 
abductive reasoning in strange, new ways. Loglan, by its very nature, will almost certainly 
encourage metaphor. It may also encourage thought in these as yet unfathomed ways.— 


1 This specimen of weird but grammatical English is a shortening of an even longer one built by 
N. Chomsky. It has the interesting property that all adjacent pairs of its words ('green ideas', 
'ideas sleep', etc.) have extremely low probabilities of co-occurrence. The probability of the 
string as a whole occurring naturally must therefore be vanishingly small. 

2 Linguists will recognize that the definition of grammaticality implied in these remarks is 
broader than the ones currently favored by natural language grammarians. However, in the 
absence of facts about usage it may be the only reasonable view to take of grammaticality in a 
constructed language. That it may also be a theoretically defensible view is suggested by 
McCawley (1979:236) when he says that the "sentences universally judged to be 'grammatical'" 
in a given language "are simply those for which no one has any difficulty in thinking of uses". 

3 Loglan is similar to the languages called pidgins in many ways. This fact may have an 
important bearing on its cross-cultural learnability, for it may mean that Loglan's grammatical 
arrangements are closer to the biological "bone" than those of more elaborate tongues. 
Bickerton's (1981) hypothesis is that the grammar of pidgins is the product of children being left 
to their own linguistic devices by parents who have been transplanted from their native cultures 
to work-settings dominated by foreign employers. The employed parents are so involved in the 
struggle to acguire enough of the dominant language to work effectively that they do not take the 
time to create the linguistic atmosphere that will teach their native language effectively to their 
own children. So it is the children of transplanted laborers, according to Bickerton, who build the 
world's pidgins. The vocabulary of each pidgin comes in the main from the language of the 
dominant people in its region; but its grammar, on Bickerton's hypothesis, comes from the 
human genome. 

4 In European mathematical usage, the standard three variable seguence is X, Y , Z as it is in 
Loglan. It is also the early part of the longer seguence X, Y, Z, W, Q which we reguire to 
translate the Loglan third- person variables da de di do du into the logically-flavored English 
favored in this book. 

5 The technical problems connected with this view of meaning are discussed in Loglan 2, 
Chapters 8 and 9. 

6 The student of logic will recognize the prepositional function in this description of the basic 
grammar of the Loglan predicate. 

7 Except when its place- structure is extended metaphorically, as in the metaphorical use of the 
English word 'man' in 'He was a man about it'. But such "metaphorical misuse" of a well- 
established predicate is often a first step toward shaping a new literal meaning for it in its 
language. We will assume in this book, however, that Loglan is holding still while we describe it, 
which among other things will mean that the places of its predicates are as described. 

8 See Note 15 for a possible sixth place of the predicate ketpi = 'is a ticket to travel to. ..from.. .on 
carrier... with accommodation...'. 

9 For example, that 'mother' is a noun in English, and one which seems superficially to behave 
like the noun 'man', obscures the fact that the first expresses a relational idea and the second does 

10 Or when the time-frame of the discourse has already been established. In one recommended 
style of Loglan story-telling the narrator uses unmarked predicates once the pastness of the 
action has been established. Explicitly tensed predicates are needed only when the time- frame 
shifts again; see Parks-Clifford (1980b:21-7). 

1 1 It is probably a mistake to call the English "present" tense a time- binding tense at all. For by 
giving up its time function to the present progressive, it has acguired something of the sense of 
the unadorned predicate in Loglan. This is not true in languages like French and Spanish, where 
the present tense still functions as a genuine indication of present time. Thus English is better 
eguipped than these languages to accommodate the time-free tense of Loglan. 

12 The English-trained mind yearns for a third alternative: 'X will be flammable' as of something 
that is presumably not flammable now. In truth, this cannot be said easily in Loglan. But the 
notion of an emerging time- free property not present now is either self- contradictory or 
redundant. If something will be flammable, then it is flammable "now" in the time- free sense; 
and if something is not flammable in this same time- free sense, then no circumstantial change 
can make it flammable later. If an English-speaker tells us that a piece of wet wood is such an 
object, then he has simply added drying the wood to the list of steps which, like lighting a match, 
must be taken in order to ignite it. On the Loglan view wet wood is flammable, just as cold wood 
is. Never mind that the conditions for its actual burning (dryness, temperature, the presence of 
oxygen, etc.) have not in fact been met. Oddly enough, this means that such expressions as 
English 'X will be flammable' may be translated into Loglan simply as Da cabro. Other 
meanings suggested by the English phrase are usually contradictory, e.g., that a time-free 
property can come and go like a flashing light. There is more on the potentiality guestion in 
McCreight and Brown (1978) and McCreight, Brown and Parks- Clifford (1979). 

13 Occasionally the punctuation word ga is used in place of "nothing at all" to signify the time- 
free sense of the predicate. See Section 4.14 for the uses of ga. 

14 A lexeme, in the technical language of Loglan linguistics, is a class of grammatically 
interchangeable words, often called a "syntactic category". We need a single word since we use it 
so freguently in our grammatical work; so the word 'lexeme' was coined about 30 years ago as an 
analog of 'phoneme' and 'morpheme'. See Loglan 6 for more exact definitions of this and related 

15 The speaker who wishes to use a sixth place of ketpi for the price of the ticket on the 
grounds that vehicular travel accommodation on this planet is never gratis, is free to do so. Sixth 
place conversion would of course be accomplished with nuso (so = 6). Thus Loglan provides 
such speakers with an infinite series of conversion compounds formed of the principal allolex nu 
of this lexeme suffixed by any integer: nufe, nuso, nuse, nuvo, etc., sometimes spelled nu5, 
nu6, nu7, nu8, etc. Usually this series of numbered compounds commences with the integer 
nu5. But for certain purposes nu itself may be replaced by nuto (nu2), fu by nute (nu3) and ju 
by nufo (nu4). For the rest of the integers see Section 4.21 . 

16 It is one of the limitations of Loglan that one cannot speak of the first and third arguments of 
a predicate without also speaking of the second; and this is true even of converse forms. But 
vague references to intervening arguments can be made by dummy variables just as we do in 
English; thus 'something' in 'He made something out of it' is such a variable. In the same spirit 
we can say Da pa madzo ba de in Loglan, for ba is also a "dummy variable", i.e., a word that 
occupies the position of an argument without referring to anything. By using ba in this way we 
permit the third argument de, which does refer to something, to be accurately specified. Other 
uses of dummy variables are discussed in Section 4.30 . 

17 The linguist will recognize in this remark my differences with the Chomskian, or 
transformational, approach to human grammar. Nothing in my own research with grammars over 
the past 30 years has suggested that speakers actually do make grammatical transformations in 
the course of speech, however elegant this contrivance may be for the description of a grammar. 
My own approach to grammar- writing has been simulative and experimental rather than 
descriptive, and so not directly concerned with formal economy. But then Loglan grammar is 
much smaller than English grammar, which has been Chomsky's chief concern, and does not 
reguire "compaction devices" to be completely described. More on this problem will be found in 
Loglan 2, Chapter 7. 

18 The word gudbi in this position modifies mrenu, as bakso modifies madzo in sentence (2). 
The modifier-modified relation is discussed in Section 3.11 . 

19 Philosophical analysis tends to ignore the role of abstract predicates as general terms and to 
leap immediately to the more interesting problem of what it is that "abstract singular terms" like 
'virtue' name; see Section 4.11 for this naming apparatus in Loglan. What I will show, however, 
is that providing the machinery for abstract predication now, before considering how abstract 
entities are to be named, very much simplifies the latter problem.. .even if it means discussing a 
type of predication of which little use is made in English. 

20 When an initial consonant- pair is completely new to you, as [ts] probably was, it may help to 
split the two consonants between two syllables, for example, to practice saying them as [dah- 

poht-SAH-nee]--as if the sentence were *Da pot sani--for awhile. What such practice does, 
however, is inform your tongue that these C- pairs are possible for it to pronounce. Once it learns 
that it will naturally slip back into the standard syllabifications given in the text and you will be 
saying (and hearing) [dah-poh-TSAH-nee] again. 

21 That is to say, it is the standard modifier-modified arrangement in 6 of the 8 most widespread 
languages: English, Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Japanese and German. Only Spanish and French 
have modifiers last; and even these prefer the modifier- modified word-order for their most 
common modifiers. But see Loglan 2, Chapter 6, The Word-Order Problem, for data supporting 
other views. 

22 Quine (1960) calls these relationships "syncategorimatic" and regards them as the atypical 
case of the modifier- modified relationship. He argues that most modifier- modified predicate 
pairs can be analyzed as conjunctions, thus that whatever is a red house is red and a house. We 
oppose this view, arguing that scarcely any modifier- modified pairs in English (and, by fiat, none 
in Loglan) can be properly analyzed as conjunctions. In fact, we would go further and argue that 
the predicate 'is red' in the sentence 'That house is red' is not used literally at all, but as an 
abbreviation for 'is a red house'; in short, that the speaker means to claim that the house in 
guestion is red for and as a house. On this view the two sentences That house is red' and That's a 
red house' have identical truth-conditions provided their designata are the same. Weinreich 
(1966) gives an analysis of the modifier relationship that accords with this view. 

23 Proposals have been made, however, that would change this for Loglan. In response to 
suggestions by R.W. Meijer (1977) and R.W.Johnson (1979), I proposed in 1979 (Brown 1979e) 
that studies be made of human metaphor-production, or, what amounts to the same thing, of the 
varieties of predicate modification in the world's languages, with a view to designing a 
descriptively exhaustive set of "modification infixes"-including the null infix, which we all use 
now -which would allow the speaker to specify, when da chose to, the "modification pathway" 
between the terms of a given metaphor. Optional, as always, such a system would permit a 
coiner of fresh metaphor-say the ironist who first said 'intellectual dwarf'-to indicate to da's 
listeners the way in which da meant its terms to be imaginatively combined. Da would do so by 
choosing among the set of infixes the one that best matched da's intended meaning. Those 
studies have still to be made. When they are made, and a set of infixes has been accordingly 
designed, Loglan grammar will accommodate them easily; and yet another extension of the 
domain of the "logically analyzable" will have been made. Readers are invited to contribute to 
our growing catalog of modification pathways. 

24 The Brown and Greenhood scenario of language evolution (1985, 1988) makes explicit use of 
this hypothesis. See Note 7 for another sense in which new predicate meanings are generated by 
apparent misuse, i.e., by place- structure extension. 

25 Where three or more predicate words occur in a string, Loglan, like normal English, is left- 
associative. That is, such strings parse by grouping to the left: (mutce corta) menru. What this 
means is that unless we are otherwise informed, the first term modifies the second ('very short'), 
the second so-modified modifies the third ('very-short man'), and so on. Section 3.12 shows how 
other patterns of association can be obtained. See Note 40 for more on associativity in Loglan. 

26 Many more than five if we count implicitly connected modifiers, like 'pretty (and) little for a 
girls-school'. We will consider this source of equivocation in Section 3.17 . 

27 The main source of this ambiguity in English is ; of course, that 'pretty' may be an adverb 
meaning 'moderately' as well as an adjective meaning 'attractive'. But it is the confusion caused 
by its uncertain grammatical role (adverb vs. adjective) rather than the semantic confusion 
between the ideas of moderateness and attractiveness with which we are mainly concerned in this 
section. For this reason we have translated the Loglan word bilti in what might be called its 
"adverbial" position in sentences (1) and (3) with the English word 'beautifully'; for the English 
suffix '-ly' helps to clarify the grammatical role played by the corresponding Loglan word in the 
Loglan sentence. 

28 It is easier to speak a long string with multiple ge's by pausing before each ge as shown. 
These pauses are not obligatory. With practice it is possible to speak such sentences pauselessly. 

29 The fact that stress, pause and intonation help to sort out some of these ambiguities in spoken 
English is not really relevant; the point is that no method of pronunciation will remove all of 

30 Formally, ge and go are closely related, as the following transformations and their parsings 
show. Case I: To go an un-ge-ed and un-go-ed string without changing its meaning: (1) write the 
last word, (2) write go, (3) write the rest of the string. Thus ABCD, which parses as ((AB)QD, 
inverts in just one way, namely as DgoABC, which then parses as Dgo((AB)C) and is thus of 
meaning equivalent to ABCD . Case II: To go a go-ed string that has at least one un-go-ed joint: 
(1) write the front part of the string through the last go, (2) treat the remainder as an un-go-ed 
string under Case I. Thus DgoABC, which parses as Dgo((AB)C), inverts again as DgoCgoAB, 
which parses as Dgo(Cgo(AB)) and inverts yet again as DgoCgoBgoA-thus using up the last un- 
go-ed joint- which now parses as the completely inverted right- grouped string Dgo(Cgo(BgoA)). 
This parse, by inspection, has the same meaning as the parse ((AB)C)D of the original left- 
grouped unmarked string ABCD. Case III: To go a ge-ed string: (1) write the portion after the 
first ge, (2) write go, (3) write the portion that precedes ge. Thus the first of the three ge-ings of 
ABCD, namely AgeBCD, which parses as Age((BC)D), inverts as BCDgoA, which in turn 
parses as ((BC)D)goA. The second ge-ing, namely ABgeCD, parses as (AB)ge(CD) and inverts 
as CDgoAB, which parses of course as (CD)go(AB); and the third ge-ing, which gives 
AgeBgeCD, parses as Age(Bge(CD)) and inverts as BgeCDgoA, which in turn parses as 
(Bge(CD))goA and is thus of meaning equivalent to AgeBgeCD. Inverting at other points 
produces strings of non- equivalent meaning. For example, wrongly inverting ABCD, with 
structure ((AB)C)D, as CDgoAB produces (CD)go(AB). From this we see that CDgoAB has the 
same meaning as ABgeCD, with its parse of (AB)ge(CD), of which it is, therefore, the proper 
inversion. These notes are for readers interested in the formal behavior of the ge/go system, 
which can be further explored with LIP™, the Loglan Interactive Parser. 

31 This is a different sense of the word 'conjunction' than the English grammarian uses. 

32 In that they have the same "truth-conditions." Thus the two sentences 'X is unmarried and a 
man' and 'X is a bachelor' are either both true or both false for any X . Their predicates are 

therefore equivalent in the precise sense that the extensions of those predicates are the same. 
That their intensions differ, however, may be seen by the fact that it is informative, when 
learning English, to be told 'Whatever is a bachelor is unmarried and a man' while it is not 
informative to be told 'Whatever is a bachelor is a bachelor'. 

33 The word 'implication' is reserved by some logicians for the relationship between a sentence 
and any other sentence which may be validly derived from it by a logical law of the 'if... then...' 
form. Among these logicians the 'if... then...' connection itself is usually called the "conditional." 
Thus 'Fx' is said to imply ' (ax)Fx' because Fx => (3)Fx: is a valid conditional, i.e., true under all 
possible interpretations of its terms; see, for example, Quine (1961). In this same language the 
connection we have called equivalence is called the "biconditional." I have elected not to follow 
this strict technical usage because I find it stylistically awkward. For example, it would deprive 
us of such an ordinary use of the word 'implies' as occurs in sentence (8). Moreover, there is no 
English noun, on a par with 'conjunction' or 'alternation', say, by which to refer to the linguistic 
act of speaking conditionally or biconditionally. Do we call it "conditionalization," for example? 
But we need to make such references. So we have used the words 'implication' and 'equivalence' 
to round out our list of fundamental connective forms and acts. 

34 In reading this sentence aloud one should leave a distinct pause before noa. This recognizes 
the connective character of the new word and its derivation from the pause- bearing elementary 
connective a. It is as if the pause built into a were not lost in this construction, but simply 
promoted to the head of the new word: thus /no.a/ becomes /.NOa/. 

35 The reader who is impatient to see the other derivations of the system may turn to Appendix 
B, The Fourteen Logical Connectives. 

36 Leaving 'liger', astonishingly enough, for the offspring of a male lion and a tigress. I am 
indebted to G . P. Esainko for this intelligence. 

37 John Parks-Clifford, the first editor of The Loglanist, dubbed these c-adorned connectives 
"sheks" and the act of using them "shekking". These words are still used in the Loglan technical 
literature, e.g., in Loglan 6. 

38 The internal connectives are not preceded by obligatory pauses. They sustain rather than 
interrupt the flow of sound. Thus [GOOD-bee-shah-SAHD-zhee] contrasts with [GOOD-bee . 
ah-SAHD-zhee] as a minor vs. a major move in the logic game. 

39 The associativity rules are these: (1) Unmarked predicate strings group left: ABCD parses as 
((AB)QD. (2) Ce-ed strings group left: AceBceCceD => ((AceB)ceC)ceD. (3) Ge-ed strings 
group right: AgeBgeCD => Age(Bge(CD)); in fact ge is a left-parenthesis. (4) Go-ed strings also 
group right: AgoBgoCgoD => Ago(Bgo(CgoD)), which is equivalent in meaning to the 
unmarked string DCBA with its left-grouped parse ((DC)B)A. And (5) Ci-ed strings also group 
right: AciBciCciD => Aci(Bci(CciD)). Ci's are used, therefore, when normal left-grouping is to 
be departed from, as in (A(BC))D, which can be expressed as ABciCD => (A(BciC))D or as 
AgeBCgeuD => (Age(BCgeu))D as the speaker chooses. That all these systems work 
unambiguously together in Loglan speech and writing is one of the astonishing things about its 

grammar. It still astonishes me, at any rate, when I think of the massive ambiguity of the natural 
languages and how it has been reduced to zero in this constructed one. 

We may note in passing that there is yet another optionality lurking in these associativity 
arrangements, for the choice between the left- associativity (or "left- branching", as it is 
sometimes called) of the unmarked form and the right-associativity ("right- branching") of the 
fully inverted string with multiple go's matches two apparently guite natural proclivities. Some 
languages, like English, Chinese and Loglan, are left- branching; others, like French, are right- 
branching. So a French speaker of Loglan has the option of using right- branched speech like Da 
ckela go nirli go cmalo go bilti ('It's a school for girls who are small in a beautiful way') if da is 
willing to use the Loglan inversion operator go to its maximum extent. The above sentence 
parses as Da (ckela go [nirli go [cmalo go bilti>]) and means exactly the same thing as the 
unmarked string Da bilti cmalo nirli ckela, with its parse Da ([[bilti cmalo> nirli] ckela), 
which is the left- branched (go- less) form that will probably be preferred by native English- and 
Chinese- speaking loglanists. Of course the French-style, go-laden Loglan will pay the penalty of 
being marked; so our prediction is that fewer francophones than would otherwise be expected to 
will follow the right- branching route. That unmarked Loglan is left- branching reflects our 
hypothesis that the human head is naturally a left- grouper, an idea supported by the fact that the 
most widespread human languages are A-N ("adjective- noun" in word- order), which I take to be 
strong evidence that they are left-branching in other particulars as well. But there are other 
scholars, notably Bichakjian (1988), who disagree. 

40 The positional and size differences between the ordinary, short, "high" hyphens used to 
replace y in words like mek-kiu and the long, low hyphens used to replace ci in phrases like 
junti_mermue are supported by a contextual difference as well. The long low hyphens always 
occur between well- formed predicate words, while the short high hyphens usually occur between 
fragments like mek and kiu. Even when y does occur between apparent words, as it does, for 
example, in Xai-kreni (which is the spelling out of Xai-kre = X -ray), the words so joined are 
never both predicates. Thus Xai (upper-case 'X ') and kreni ('radiates/produces rays') are both 
words, but only one of them is a predicate. So guite apart from considerations of its size and 
position we know that this hyphen is inside a word formed by joining a letter-word to a 
predicate. This joint is always made with y, never with ci. 

41 Here again Loglan's optionality will provide a kind of natural experiment for language 
scientists. Will loglanists prefer prefixing with ge or infixing with ci? Will they do this from all 
linguistic backgrounds, or just from some? If only from some, what does the pattern of 
distribution mean about their native languages? If from all, what does that result suggest about 
either some non-biologically fixed but nevertheless universal pattern in human languages or, 
more likely, about the biological wiring of the human head? In short, we are likely to find out a 
good deal from Loglan's optionality if the language spreads cross- culturally. Wherever as 
language designers we have said Let usage decide', later observers will have an opportunity to 
observe and then reflect on the patterns of human usage that actually emerge. 

42 Susumo Kuno (1963) found that the average number of legitimate syntactical interpretations 
of a group of English sentences with an average length of 20 words was about 10. Thirteen for a 
seven- word sentence ('It's a pretty little girls' school') is on the extreme side, according to this 

standard, but not so far from the mean as to suggest rarity. Our sentence is more than usually 
ambiguous but not improbably so. 

43 The logician will recognize a variant of the Polish, or "parenthesis- free/ 1 notation in this 
device. The reason we use for 'if... then... ', and not * is two-fold. First 
there is a learning advantage to be gained in preserving the derivational parallel between the 
marked and unmarked forms of each connective, e.g., between and ...noa... through 
their intermediate forms ka and no.. .a.... Second, there is a transformational advantage 
in being able to move a negation operator from the left connectand to the suffix position on the 
prefix, as in transforming ka no preda ki prede into kanoi preda ki prede, and from the right 
connectand to the suffix position on the infix, as in changing ka preda ki no prede into ka 
preda kinoi prede. Both advantages would be lost if words like noka were used prepositionally. 
Note that a medial marker of some kind-ki or kinoi in our system- is necessary to separate 
strings of which the boundaries are not clear. This is true of both predicate expressions and of 
sentences in Loglan, though not of arguments, where ki is in a certain sense superfluous except 
as an occasional bearer of -noi. 

44 My English usage of the Loglan free variables is well- illustrated in this paragraph. The rules I 
follow are these: (1)1 regard each new paragraph as a fresh field in which to redeploy them, that 
is, to reassign them if they have been used earlier in the same document. (2) The first one I 
introduce is 'da'. In this paragraph 'da' replaces 'the poet', that is, the "mass poet", all the poets 
there are. (3) The one I use next is 'de'. Here it replaces 'these poets', a phrase which refers in turn 
to Cummings and Dickinson. (4) I would continue with 'di', 'do' and 'du' if reguired. (5) I try to 
make each backward reference span the shortest possible interval consistent with English style. 
In none of this am I as rigorous as I expect loglanists will be in their use of this same apparatus 
in the language for which it was designed; see Section 4.4 . 

45 The grammar of predicates which may have liberated these ways in Loglan has turned out to 
be one of the more stable parts of Loglan grammar. Since 1975 the grammar of the predicate has 
changed in only three ways: (1) A former distinction, ze/zea, between mixing within predicates 
and between them turned out to be unnecessary. Ze now serves in both contexts and zea is 
unassigned. (2) The use of the old commas gi and gu as scope- delimiters, both between 
predicates and within them, turned out to generate ambiguities, so the new delimiters cui and cue 
were adopted for use within them. (3) Closely related to (2), the grouping operator ge turned out 
to reguire a rightward delimiter for logical completeness, and the new delimiter, geu, was 
originally adopted for this role. The incompleteness that precipitated the last two changes was 
that there was no way, in the 1975 language, to express the four-term grouping (A(BC))D and 
other longer expressions like it. This was the "Missing 18th Case" in the 'Pretty Little Girls' 
School' paradigm that appeared in the 3rd Edition. This problem led to a flurry of papers in the 
Spring of 1977. The solution that led to the present arrangements emerged very guickly from this 
published work, and has remained in force ever since. In fact, one might say that the entire 
grammar of predicates has proved hyperstable since 1977 despite considerable movement in 
other departments of the grammar. In short, the Loglan predicate seems to have settled into place 
fairly early. The analytic work that gave us this happy result was done by J.R. Brown (1977a,b), 
D. Hickerson(1977), R.W. Meijer(1977a,b,c), W. Mengarini (1977a,b), J. Parks- Clifford 
(1977b,c,d,e,f,g), R. Thomas (1977), K. Wright (1977) and myself (J.C. Brown 1977b,c). 

Chapter 4 

4.1 Designation vs. Predication 

In the previous chapter we talked about the ways in which a speaker could use the predicate 
apparatus of a language to make claims, to give information, to frame new insights, and so forth. 
But to use a predicate is also to indicate one's willingness to show one's listeners how to use or 
test the truth of the relationship or perception that it claims. If I tell you 'X is taller than Y ' or 'Z 
is an intellectual dwarf', I must evidently be prepared to answer such guestions as 'How do you 
know?' 'In what way?' 'How can I tell?' and so on. For if I am a knowing and responsible speaker, 
I must be able to follow up any such use of a predicate with such remarks as 'Well, if you talk to 
Z, you will find he is no intellectual giant', or 'If you put X and Y back to back and hold a 
carpenter's level over their heads, and then keep it level while you lower it, you will find that it 
touches X 's head before it touches Y 's.' In fact if I cannot follow up my predications with 
instructions of this-or some other-sort, people will begin to suspect that I don't know what I am 
talking about. 

But you might also ask an entirely different kind of guestion about either of these same remarks. 
You might ask 'Who's X?' or 'Who's Z?' Obviously the most elaborate instructions for testing the 
claim that X is taller than Y , or the most illuminating comment on Z's dwarfed intellectuality, 
will not be of much use unless you know the identity of the individuals to whom these predicates 
are supposed to apply. And again, just by using such arguments as 'X ', Y ' and 'Z' in such remarks 
I am evidently indicating my willingness to help you locate the objects to which my predicates 
apply. For example, I might answer 'X is that red-haired fellow standing over there.' And again, 
if I am unwilling or unable to give you locating information of this-or some other-sort, people 
are likely to suspect that I don't know who I am talking about. 

But the two kinds of information are very different. To tell you what I mean by a predication is 
to give you a recipe for testing it, on anything. But to tell you to whom or on what I intend that 
predication to apply, is to give you the address, so to speak, of just those objects. Predicates 
make claims. Arguments designate the individuals, or sets of individuals, those claims are about. 
By one linguistic convention or another, they help the listener to locate those things in space- 

Suppose I say 'I am taller than you are.' Y ou will not, if you understand English, have to inguire 
who or what I mean to designate by the arguments T and 'you'. For you will know that anyone 
who uses T in an English sentence means to designate himself, and here I am. Similarly, if I am 
gazing directly at you when you hear me say 'you', you will have no difficulty in locating the 
second object I have designated. For by a similar convention of spoken English you know that 
'you' designates the person addressed, and here you are, too. In contrast, the references of 'X ' and 

Y ', like those of the pronouns 'he' ; 'she' and 'it' ; are not so easily located. Like the Loglan 
variables da, de and di, they require a context of previously- spoken sentences from which to 
infer what they mean. I can start out talking about you and me ; for you know immediately who 
we are; but I cannot usually start talking to you in sentences in which the only arguments are 'he' 
and 'she' or da and de. For ; as we shall see, the conventions of both Loglan and English require 
that I use these "third person" variables to refer to things which have already been referred to in 
some other way. 

This, then, was the essential artificiality of the sentences we studied in the preceding chapter. 
None of their arguments designated anything; for no listener could have located the things to 
which those arguments apparently referred. We must now look more closely into these matters. 
We will find that very special conventions surround the machinery of designation in any 
language. When successfully used, these conventions lead to the possibility of the listener's 
locating the things to which the speaker has referred. Just how these locating conventions are 
arranged in Loglan is the subject of the present chapter. 1 

4.2 The Demonstrative Variables ti ta 

The simplest way a speaker can locate something for a listener is by pointing to it. Then if, in 
addition, he wishes to say something about the object at which he is pointing, most languages 
provide one or more convenient little words to serve as arguments of the predicate which says 
that thing. In Loglan the variables ti [tee] and ta [tah] serve this "demonstrative" function, as in 
the following sentences: 

(1) Tibukcu This is a book. 


(2) Tabakso That's a box. 


Just as in English there are two of these words. The convention is that if two objects are to be 
demonstratively designated, ti will be used for the closer or the later of them, while ta will be 
used for the farther or the earlier. If only one object is to be referred to, either ti or ta may be 

The relationship between both ti and ta and the thing it refers to is usually a transitory one. Thus 
in the same context of speech I may use the word ti many different times to refer to many 
different things. For example, I may walk down a row of objects on a shelf and refer to each of 
them in turn as ti, just as I may say 'This is a cat; this is a dog; this is a mouse' in English. In this 
respect, the demonstrative variables differ from the other variables we are about to study in that 
their references may vary within the same context of speech. They are in this sense the most 
variable of the Loglan argument forms. 

43 The Metalinguistic Deiiionsh^ativestjoitjoatiotao 

Sometimes when we use 'this' and 'that' in English we aren't referring to objects in the world 
immediately around us but to something someone has said or alluded to. Thus when someone 
says something we agree with, we often say 'That's true.' In a logical language one must keep 
references of that kind distinct from references to the object world. This is the same difference- 
first pointed out by the positivist philosopher Rudolf Carnap-that philosophers now refer to as 
the difference between the "object language" and the "metalanguage". In its simplest terms the 
metalanguage is the language we use to talk about language. 'That's true' is an excellent example. 
We use the pair of demonstratives toi [toy] and toa [toh-ah] for this metalinguistic purpose in 

(1) Toi tradu That's true (literally, this is true). 


(2) Toa falji [FAHL-zhee] That's false (that earlier claim was 


On most occasions of their use, disyllabic operators like [toh-ah] will have "level stress"; that is, 
neither syllable will be stressed. 

But there is still another kind of demonstrative pronoun. Suppose someone tells you 'John is sick 
today.' Y ou say 'That's bad!' Is it da's sentence you are referring to? No; it is the situation 
described by that sentence that you are saying is bad. So neither Ta zavlo (That object over 
there is bad!') nor Toa zavlo (That sentence you uttered is bad, i.e., ill-formed') will do. In a 
logical language we need still a third pair of demonstratives to refer to the absent situations to 
which the sentences spoken in our immediate vicinity often refer. In Loglan we use tio [tyoh] 
and tao [tow] for this meta- metalinguistic purpose. 

(3) Tio zavlo This is bad (i.e., the situation just 

alluded to is bad). 

(4) Tao gudbi That's good (the situation 

previously alluded to is good). 

In English we tend to use 'that' in both these situations. We say 'That's bad' and 'That's good' 
whether the allusion was made in the most recent sentence or not. Possibly this is because of the 
remoteness from the scene of speech of the meta-metalinguistical world. 

So in Loglan we have three pairs of demonstratives: ti ta for immediately perceived things; toi 
toa for pieces of recent speech or writing; and tio tao for absent situations to which pieces of 
recent speech or writing allude. 

Asa speaker of a logical language you will find these distinctions very useful... even though the 
chances are very good that you have never made them before.- 

4.4 The Free Variables da de di do du 

These are the argument- forms that we used without comment throughout the previous chapter. 
Y ou sensed in that context that they were very like the X Y Z's of the mathematician. This is 
correct; for unlike the English third person pronouns which they often translate, the Loglan free 
variables may stand for anything at all: single things or plural sets of things ('it' or 'they'), 
subjects or objects ('he' or 'him'), animate or inanimate things ('she' or 'it') ; and males or females 
('him' or 'her'). Moreover, each of the five free variables may be used in any of these ways. 

Like English third person pronouns, Loglan free variables are usually introduced into speech as 
short replacements of other, longer designations that have already been made. For example, in 
the seguence of English sentences, 

(1) Christopher Columbus visited the Queen of Spain. 

(2) He persuaded her that the Earth was round. 

the pronouns 'he' and 'her' in (2) replace the longer designations 'Christopher Columbus' and 'the 
Queen of Spain' that first occurred in (1). In Loglan we often make the same kind of replacement 
with free variables. As in English, they may replace (i) names, (ii) descriptions, and (iii) 
demonstratives. They may not replace each other or the Loglan eguivalents of T and 'you'. In a 
moment you will see why. 

Now the reason that pronouns are often inflected for number and gender in the natural languages 
is primarily to allow the listener to make a fair guess at the identity of the name, description or 
demonstrative for which each pronoun is a substitute. For example, it is because we know the 
genders of Christophers and gueens, that we can be fairly certain that 'he' replaces 'Christopher 
Columbus' and 'her' replaces 'the Queen of Spain' and not the other way round. But the Loglan 
variables are totally uninflected. Obviously, some other system of identifying the objects they 
replaced must be found.- 

In Loglan the replacement system governing the references of free variables is based on the order 
in which they are used. It is as if, when speech commences, the five free variables were sitting on 
a shelf in alphabetical order in both the speaker's and the listener's mind. Then as speech 
progresses they are continually matched up with the arguments they might replace in the 
sentences that have already occurred. When a free variable is used to replace another argument, 
it is taken off the shelf, so to speak, and the others are shifted along it to form a new order. The 
matching with potential replacements then proceeds as before. Let us illustrate this process with 
an example. 

Suppose someone commences a conversation by pointing to something and saying: 

(3) La Djan, pa vedma ta le fumna John sold that to the woman. 


In this sentence there is a name (La Djan), a demonstrative (ta) and a description (le fumna). 
All of them are replaceable by free variables. Let us see how. 

Suppose the speaker now wants to add that the woman who bought the indicated object then 
gave it to a person named Pete. Well, the five free variables are all unused, and as he spoke 
sentence (3) the speaker unconsciously matched the first of them, da, with the last designation in 
the previous sentence, which is the one it may replace, namely le fumna. So da is now available 
to talk about the woman. But the speaker also unconsciously matched the second free variable, 
de, with the second-from-the-last argument used, namely ta. So de is available as a more 
permanent designation of that object than ta is. (Recall that the demonstratives are temporary 
designations and may not be used a second time to designate the same thing.) Finally, the third- 
from-the-last designation is La Djan; this has been matched by the speaker with the third 
variable di. And if he wanted to mention John again, the speaker could now do so by using the 
variable di. 

But he doesn't. What he wants to say is that the woman-who is potentially da-gave the object- 
which is potentially de-to some new person named Pete. So he says: 

(4) Da pa donsu la Pit, de X gave Pete Y . 


Now because the listener-let us suppose, for our referential convenience, a woman- is playing 
by the same rules, she has also made this same unconscious matching; and she therefore knows 
that da refers to the same object as the last previous designation, namely le fumna, does, and 
that de replaces the second-to-the-last designation she has heard, namely ta. Moreover, had she 
heard the variable di she would have known that it referred to John. But she didn't. 

Now as soon as these two variables, da and de, come off the shelves in the speaker's and 
listener's mind, then a new matching must be made. For if the speaker thinks back over what he 
has now said he will find that the last replaceable designation he has made is not La Djan in (3) 
but la Pit in (4). Conseguently, after speaking sentence (4) a new matching set-up is formed in 
the speaker's and listener's mind in which di now matches la Pit and the fourth variable do now 
refers back to La Djan. Both of the other replaceable designations in these two remarks, namely 
le fumna and ta, have already been replaced by da and de and therefore stand outside the new 
matching scheme. 

So the speaker may continue: 

(5) Do pa mercea [mehr-SHEIGH-ah] da W married (married-became to) 



And who is X? The woman once designated by le fumna. And who is W, the "designatum" of 
(that is, the thing or person designated by) the fourth free variable? Why John, of course. Had the 
speaker wished to say that it was Pete who married the woman X, he would have said: 

(6) Di pa mercea da Z married X . 


For at the time he spoke, di was matched with the name la Pit. 

This seems tricky, but you will probably find it easy and natural to assign up to three free 
variables in this way. It will usually be clear to you when you are listening to or speaking Loglan 
just which among the five free variables have been used. The rest remain in alphabetical order on 
their shelf waiting for the speaker to use them. Thus after sentences (3), (4) and (5) the variables 
da ; de and do have been used to replace le fumna, ta and la Djan, respectively. Throughout the 
rest of this conversation- -or the current paragraph in text-these three variables will remain more 
or less permanently assigned to the objects and persons designated by the original expressions, 
i.e., to their designata. At the end of utterance (5) only di and du remain unused. These will be 
ready to be matched to whatever is the last and next-to-last replaceable designation, respectively, 
at any subseguent moment in the conversation. Experience has shown, however, that even a 
fourth free variable is rarely used in speech. 

Writing is a different matter. With one's text in front of one, not only can all five replacing 
variables be rapidly assigned, but one can run out of variables fairly fast. When this happens, 
subscripted variables may be used. These are compounds like dacine [dah-shee-neh], dacito 
[dah-shee-toh], etc.-these compounds, too, normally get level stress-which are the Loglan 
eguivalents of expressions like English 'X -sub-one', 'X -sub- two', and so on. There are in 
principle an infinite number of these, of course, so once the writer starts on them, da is not likely 
to run out of variables again. But the five unsubscripted variables da de di do du will suffice for 
organizing the references in most ordinary text.- 

4.5 The Personal Variables mi tu and Their Derivatives 

The personal variables of Loglan are much more numerous than the personal pronouns of 
English, but they are used in much the same way. The basic words are m i [mee] and tu [too] 
which, as you may easily guess, mean T (or 'me') and you', respectively. Thus: 

(1) Mi cluva [SHLOO-vah] tu I love you. 


(2) Tu cluva mi You love me. 


Note that neither of these words is inflected for its position in the sentence. It is as if we said 'Me 
love you' in English, as, in fact, some children and speakers of Pidgin English do.- 

Thereis no distinction in Loglan between the formal and informal senses of 'you' as there is in 
French and German. In this respect Loglan is like modern English and unlike nearly all of the 
other European languages. For almost all these languages still carry this mark of the sharp class- 
distinctions amongst the people who spoke these languages in the past.- 

A third personal variable is mu [moo] ; a phonemic mixture of mi and tu. Naturally it means 'we' 
or 'us'. In fact mu is an abbreviation of the "mixed" argument form mi ze tu ('I and you jointly'), 
the exact meaning of which we will consider in Section 4.35 . For the moment it is enough to 
know that this is the "proposing" or "planning" sense of English 'we' or 'us', as in the seguence 
'Let's go. We'll visit Jack. Then we'll eat' 

There is another sense of the pronoun 'we' in English. For example, the sense of 'we' in the 
following sentences is not that of mi ze tu: 'John and I went to Spain. We stayed there for a 
while, and then we went on to Italy.' Obviously I do not mean to include you, my listener, in this 
"narrative" sense of 'we'. So for precision of reference we have another set of personal variables 
in Loglan which mean 'X and I', Y and I', and so on. These are mia mie mii mio miu [myah 
myeh myee myoh myoo]. As you may easily infer, these words are abbreviations of the mixed 
forms mi ze da ('I and X jointly'), mi ze de ('I and Y jointly'), and so on. 

Like the free variables, replacement with these mixed variables is determined by order. Thus in 
translating the English narrative above, we would use mie for 'we' because the name John' in 
John and I went to Spain' is the second- to-the-last replaceable designation at the moment the 
replacement occurred ('Spain' was the last). Note that T, being a permanent designation of any 
speaker, is not replaceable and therefore is not counted in reckoning the replacement order of 
John'. Since all designations made with personal variables are permanent in the passages in 
which they occur, they are never replaced by free variables. 

There is a third, less freguently occurring sense of 'we' in English for which Loglan also provides 
distinct words. This is the mu ze da sense of 'we': the mixed first, second and third person sense 
of the pronoun 'we' in 'We (you and I and the children) will visit the Louvre first, then we'll go to 
Notre Dame, then the Left Bank...' and so on. This is the "group planning" sense of 'we'. So this 
mixture of references is expressed in Loglan with the mua-series, mua mue mui muo muu 
[mwah mweh mwee mwoh mwoo]; and mua is, we see, a very compact abbreviation of mi ze tu 

The final series of personal variables is one in which the members have the sense of English 
plural 'you' when it means a mixture of second and third person references: thus 'you (the 
listener) and X ', 'you and Y ', and so on. These abbreviations are of course generated from the 
mixed argument forms tu ze da, tu ze de, and so on, and are simply tua tue tui tuo tuu [twah 
tweh twee twoh twoo]. Again the rules of replacement for free variables apply. 

The total number of Loglan personal variables is a formidable eighteen. But as fifteen of these 
come in five- member series, and as all but the primitive elements mi and tu are plain 
abbreviations of ze- linked phrases, they hardly have to be learned. Once the da-series and mi tu 
are in hand, then tui will be seen and heard as tu ze di. There is hardly any more to it than that. 

With the personal variables we complete our account of the words which function as pronouns in 
Loglan. In summary, these are (i) the six demonstratives ti ta, toi toa and tio tao, (ii) the five 
free variables of the da-series da de di do du; and (iii) mi tu mu and their fifteen derivatives. 
There are many other variables, of course, since Loglan is a heavily mathematized language. The 
most numerous are the letter variables we will take up in the next section. 

4.6 The 100 Letter Variables 

Loglan, which frequently uses those compact visual forms beloved by mathematicians, has an 
unusually large supply of letter variables: the 'a' 'b' 'c' 'd's of the mathematician and logician. 
Each letter variable is available in two forms, first as a word- in most cases three- letters long, 
e.g., bei--and second as a single- character written sign, in this case b. The Loglan letter words 
and letter signs are used exactly as the English number words ('one') and numerals ('1 ') are used, 
in that each numeral is a visually compact form of its corresponding word that is used optionally 
in print or writing. In fact, Loglan letter signs are called "letterals" on the model of the English 
word 'numeral'. 

There are a hundred of these word/letteral pairs in Loglan. There are the 52 words for the 52 
Latin letterals, the 26 lower plus the 26 upper case ones. (A and a are different letterals in 
Loglan, as indeed they are different graphs in English, and so deserve different words by which 
to speak them.) But there are only 24 three- letter words for the 48 G reek letterals, because the 24 
capital letter words are made by prefixing gao- [gow] to the three- letter word for the 
corresponding lower-case letteral. This is because so few Greek capital letterals differ from the 
corresponding Latin capitals that there is little use for upper-case Greek letter- words. 

The words loglanists use for reading letterals aloud- words like the seldom written but often 
spoken English 'tee', 'eks', 'eff ' and 'cue', and the both written and spoken 'alpha', 'beta' and 
'gamma' of Greek-are generated in Loglan by adding -ei [-ay] and -ai [-igh] to the lower and 
upper case Latin consonant letters, respectively. This generates the series bei cei dei... [bay shay 
day...] for the lower-case letterals and Bai Cai Dai... [bigh shigh digh...] for the capitals. The 
Latin vowel words are either the seven vowel letters pronounced according to their sounds, a e i 
o u w y as [ah eh ee oh oo eu uh], when it isn't important to distinguish them from the 
connectives a e i o u, and when case and language (Greek or Latin) doesn't matter, or by three- 
letter words formed by attaching -si and -ma to the vowel letterals when it is. Thus asi esi isi... 
[ah-see ess-ee ee-see...] are the three- letter words for the lower case Latin vowels, and Ama 
Ema Ima... [ahm-ah em-ah eem-ah...] represent the capitals. Again, the most typical 
pronunciation of these disyllables is with level stress. 

The Loglan words for the Greek letters- words which function like 'alpha', 'beta', 'gamma', and so 
on, in English-are formed in Loglan by adding the suffix -eo [-eigh-oh] to all the consonants 
except c because there is no sound in Greek that corresponds to Loglan [sh]. This generates beo 
deo feo... [beigh-oh deigh-oh feigh-oh...] for the lower-case Greek consonant letter-words. As 
mentioned above, gao- is added to these three- letter forms to make the occasional Greek capital. 
Thus gaoseo [gow-seigh-oh] is the word for capital sigma, whose letteral does in fact differ from 
Latin 'S'. Seo [seigh-oh] of course is lowercase sigma. Greek lower-case vowel- words are made 
in forms parallel to the Latin ones by adding -fi to all the Loglan vowel-sounds except w- like c, 
Loglan w [eu] is not assigned to any letter in the Greek alphabet- whenever it is useful to 
distinguish between cases or languages: afi efi ifi... [ah-fee eff-ee ee-fee...]. The words for the 
Greek capital vowels-on the rare occasions when they are required-are gao,afi gao,efi gao,ifi... 
[gow-ah-fee gow-eh-fee gow- ee-fee...]. (Note the close-commas. This forces vowel-pairing from 
the left, and is one of the rare occasions when the "pair- from- the- right" rule mentioned in Section 

2.15 is departed from in non- names. Because it is a departure from standard pronunciation, it is 

Remember that each of the 100 three- and six-letter words so generated may be represented in 
text in two ways: first as a phonemically spelled word-Tai ; for example, which translates the 
phrase 'capital tee' in English-and second, by its single-letter abbreviation, in this case the 
letteral T. Both representations are pronounced as the word itself is spelled, in the case of T and 
Tai as [tigh]. Thus the two differently written sentences: 

(1) Taiditca[DEET-shah] Tee is a teacher (unusual in 

English text, but understandable). 

(2) T ditca T is a teacher. 


are read aloud as the same utterance. This is exactly what we do when reading numerals aloud in 
English, of course. Thus 'He ate 3 doughnuts' and 'He ate three doughnuts' evoke exactly the 
same sounds. 

A common use of letter variables in Loglan is to shorten longer designations, often as an 
alternative to using the replacing variables described in Section 4.4 .- Thus T in (2) might well 
have been an abbreviation of the longer designation la Tam in 

(3) La Tam, merji le kicmu [KEESH- Tom is married to the doctor, 


(La is the Loglan name operator, and le is a "descriptor" like English 'the'. These are operations 
which we will consider more carefully in the next two sections.) Thus we could rewrite (3) as 

(4) Tai merji le kicmu Tee is married to the doctor. 


Conventionally, upper case letter variables are used to abbreviate names, while lower case ones 
are used to abbreviate predicates used as designations, as kicmu is used in le kicmu. Thus (4) 
could be further shortened by using a second letter word-this time a lower case one- to 
abbreviate le kicmu: 

(5) Tai merji kei Tee is married to kay. 


or even to 

(6) T merji k T is married to k. 


in text. 

The text is now in the maximally condensed visual form we see in mathematics books. But the 
sentences of (6) are pronounced exactly like those of (5). both languages. Note that the case 
information in the Loglan letter words is not conveyed in the spoken English ones. That is to say, 
we do not say 'Capital tee is married to lower-case kay' in English. In effect, we do in 
Loglan.. .thus doubling our kit of speakable letter variables. 

The mathematized style of Loglan is still being explored. At the moment, using letter variables is 
neither more nor less admired than using the replacing variables of Section 4.4 , which, although 
more difficult to keep track of, seem somehow to be more natural. Which system of third person 
pronouns will be preferred in what contexts remains to be seen. Perhaps both systems will have 
permanent roles. 

In replacing a longer designation with a letter word, the Latin letter is used first. The Greek one 
is used only after the corresponding Latin letter has been assigned. For example, to abbreviate 
the designations in, 

(7) Le kicmu pa furvea [foor-VEIGH-ah] The doctor bought (2nd converse 
le ketpi le ditca of sold) the ticket from the 



we use kei for the first k- initial predicate, keo for the second, and dei for the d- initial one. 
Rewriting (7) with those letter words we get: 

(8) Kei pa furvea keo dei Kay bought kappa from dee. 

/keipafurV EakeoD EI/ 

If text is to be printed, and if the fonts available to the printer include Greek letterals as well as 
Latin ones, then the following even more abbreviated textual form is possible: 

(9) k pa furvea *;d k bought Kfrom d. 

/keipafurV EakeoD EI/ 

Greek letterals have, of course, been routinely used in science and mathematics for several 
centuries. As the century of the computer unfolds, the use of such fonts in ordinary home- 
generated text may well spread to non- mathematical domains. 

4.7 Naming with la 

We must now make explicit a convention that we have used informally for some time. That 
convention is that when names are used as designations in Loglan, they are preceded by the little 

word la [lah]. For example, the presence and absence of la is the only difference between the 
following two sentences: 

(1) La Djan, godzi John goes. 


(2) Djan, godzi John, go! 


In sentence (1), the name operator la has made a designation out of the name-word Djan which 
follows it. That is, La Djan refers to something, namely to a person named John. Since it refers 
to something, it is an argument, namely the first argument of the predicate godzi. Therefore the 
sentence as a whole is a statement; it claims something to be true of John, namely that he goes. 

In sentence (2), however, the name- word Djan is used vocatively, that is, used to call the 
attention of someone named John. This leaves the predicate godzi without a first argument; and, 
as we will see in detail later, a sentence whose predicate does not have a first argument is not a 
statement but an imperative. It forms the injunction 'Go!'. Evidently the presence or absence of 
the little word la makes some difference in Loglan. 

The distinction between the designative and the vocative use of names is not regularly drawn in 
the natural languages. And yet there is a very important difference in meaning. People designate 
someone by using da's name in much the same spirit that they describe someone by using some 
predicate that fits da. Thus we may designate someone by saying 'He's the fat one over there' or 
by saying 'He's the one named John over there.' Thus having a name is a kind of property, 
namely the property shared by all who have that name. We use this property in using names to 
make designations. We say, in effect, 'the one named John'. 

This is exactly what the name-operator la does in Loglan. In sentence (1) La Djan means 
literally 'The one person I mean whose name is John'. This is a mouthful, and no one would ever 
translate Loglan into English in this way. But English is not explicit about these matters. Loglan 
is. It perhaps expresses the sense of the Loglan best to write sentences like (1) as 'The John goes' 
whenever a literal translation is desired. Again, this is not a routine one would care to impose on 
unwarned ears. But it does suggest, as John goes' does not, the sense in which the Loglan 
sentence, but not the English, explicitly recognizes that there are many Johns. 

4.8 Description with le 

Just as names may be used to form designations, so may predicates. Thus the little word le [leh] 
operates on predicate expressions to make designations out of them in a way that is similar to the 
way la operates on name-words. We will call the designations made with le descriptions, and le 
itself, the descriptive operator. For in this context we are using predicates, not to say things 
about the world, but to locate those things in the world about which we have something to say. 
Thus with la we locate things by naming them; with le we locate things by imputing other 
properties to them. For example, in 

( 1 ) Le fumna pa cluva le mrenu The woman loved the man. 


the predicate words fumna and mrenu are not predications, for they claim nothing. Instead, they 
function in this sentence to help the listener locate the two objects in the world about which the 
speaker does have something to say, namely that one of them loved the other. Thus, descriptions 
are not true or false of the things they describe, but merely helpful or not helpful. This can best 
be seen by considering a fanciful example. 

Suppose someone who looks like a woman is arrested by two detectives on suspicion of some 
crime. Later the suspect is more thoroughly examined and found to be a man. Suppose the first 
detective reports this fact to the second by saying That woman was a man.' Is this a 
contradiction? Certainly not. For by describing the suspect as 'that woman' the first detective has 
not said that the suspect is in fact a woman. It is not the linguistic business of designation to 
assert facts, but to use facts, or apparent facts, to help listeners locate individuals. The fact is that 
the suspect looked like a woman. And that fact is useful in locating him. 

For we can now ask a very different kind of guestion. Was it useful to the listener to have the 
suspect described to de as 'that woman? Certainly. For this is exactly what de needed to know in 
order to locate the person who was in fact a man. Suppose the second detective had been told 
That man was a man.' Would this have been useful to de? We suppose not. We suppose, in fact, 
that nothing would have been more misleading to that as yet uninformed listener. For it is worse 
than useless to be told to locate an object by means of a property you think that object does not 

Notice that the sentences That woman was a man' and That man was a man' are both true under 
the circumstances we have assumed. But only one of them has any chance of communicating that 
truth to the listener; and that is the one that uses a "false" but useful description as the 
designation of the individual the sentence is about. 

But, however these matters may be interpreted in English, the sentence 

(2) Le fumna pa mrenu The woman was a man. 


is not a contradiction in Loglan. The reason is that the descriptive operator le does not simply 
mean 'the', or 'the one that is', but more exactly 'the one thing, or set of things, which I intend to 
designate with this phrase and which is apparently a...'. Thus there are many women, and many 
things which look like women, but the speaker of sentence (2) intends to designate just one of 
them, and a certain one of them, when da says that it was a man. That one intended thing is the 
reference of the descriptive phrase. And the sentence containing that phrase is true or false 
depending only on whether its predicate, not its description, is true of that intended thing.- 

Now any untensed and unspecified predicate expression of the language can become the basis of 
a description with le. Thus the predicate expression bilti cmalo ge nirli ckela provides the 

(3) Le bilti cmalo ge nirli ckela The (thing that is) beautifully 

small for a girl's school. 

and nirli ckela go bilti ce cmalo provides the basis for another slightly different description: 

(4) Le nirli ckela go bilti ce cmalo The girls' school that is beautiful 

and small. 

Similarly, the verbal notion of the predicate kukra sucmi [SOOSH-mee] ('guickly swims') 
becomes a noun- like notion in the description: 

(5) Le kukra sucmi The fast swimmer. 


And the adjectival notion of the predicate mutce [MOOT-sheh] blanu ('is very blue') becomes a 
noun- like one in the description: 

(6) Le mutce blanu The very blue thing. 


In short, one must occasionally make rather radical adjustments to the English in transporting a 
predicate notion into or out of a Loglan description. But so long as the Loglan predicate 
expression is (i) untensed and (ii) unspecified, no grammatical adjustment whatever is needed to 
make a Loglan description out of a Loglan predicate, or vice versa . In later sections we will take 
up the adjustments that are necessary just in case the descriptive predicate is specified or tensed. 

In Chapter 3 we observed that predicate strings with "kekked head predas" were not allowed in 
predicate expressions but were permitted in descriptions. It is easy to see why. A predicate 
expression with a kekked head preda is impossible to say because the listener will always take it 
for a kekked predicate expression. Thus, the speaker of 

(7) Da ke gudbi ki sadji mrenu 
may intend it to be understood as 

(7') *Da [(ke gudbi ki sadji) mrenu]- 
but nobody will parse it that way (and so I have starred it). Instead everyone will hear it as 

(7") Da [ka gudbi ki (sadji mrenu)] 
But no problem arises with kekked head predas in descriptions: 

(8) Le ke gudbi ki sadji mrenu pa hijri The both good and wise man was 


The reason this sense is unequivocal in descriptions and not in predications is that kekked whole 
predicate expressions may not be made the basis of descriptions. Thus there is no rule in the 
machine's grammar that allows kekked predicates to be operands of descriptors. In descriptions, 
therefore, the scope of a kek is always the next pair of individual words, or the next pair of 
expressions that may replace individual words. Thus, in the case in hand, the parser will hear (8) 
unequivocally as 

(8') (le [[ke gudbi ki sadji> mrenu]) (pa hijri) 
and now 

(8") *(le [ke gudbi ki [sadji mrenu>]) (pa hijri) 
will be impossible for it to hear.— 

4.9 Mass Description with lo 

Suppose we say in English 'Butter is soft' 'Water is wet' and 'Man is in trouble.' Are the words 
'Butter', 'Water' and 'Man' descriptions? In a sense they are, for they use predicates (in the Loglan 
sense) to help us locate-or think about, for such objects are mighty hard to locate- the peculiar 
objects they do designate. And what are these objects? Well, if you think about it, anyone who 
talks like this in English is talking about all the butter there is, all the water there is, and all the 
human beings there are, for this is the sense of the English noun when it is used without an 
article. (Contrast 'The man is in trouble.') But is this a legitimate way of talking? Perhaps; but it 
is certainly a different way than talking about pieces of butter, glasses of water, or individual 
human beings. 

In Loglan we recognize this important difference explicitly by providing a different operator lo 
[loh] to form these mass descriptions, as we will now call them. (To English- listening ears [loh] 
has a very abrupt, even truncated sound. It is not, for example, the sound of English 'low' [loh- 
oo].) Let us consider some examples. 

The Loglan predicate batra means 'is a piece, portion or lump of butter'. The predicate cutri 
means 'is a drop, portion, body or expanse of water'. The predicate humni means 'is a human 
being'. Thus le batra, le cutri and le humni designate the particular lump of butter, the 
particular drop (let us say) of water, and the particular particle of humanity which the speaker 
has in mind. But lo batra, lo cutri and lo humni designate just what the English words 'butter', 
'water' and 'man' designate when used without articles, namely those three massive, widely 
distributed but discontinuous individuals composed respectively of all the butter, all the water, 
and all the human beings there are. Looking back, we will now call descriptions made with le 
particular descriptions, to contrast them with the mass descriptions with which we are now 

English permits us to talk of these massive individuals in a wide variety of ways. In the case of 
what some grammarians call the "uncountable" nouns-substance words like 'butter', 'sand' ; 
'wood', 'meat', 'iron', etc.-the procedure is very simple. One simply uses the unadorned noun, as 
in 'Iron is hard.' What is awkward in the case of these nouns is talking about individual pieces. 
For one must say in English 'The piece (lump, fragment, chunk) of iron', not simply le fernu ('the 
iron- thing') as one can in Loglan. For other nouns- the "countable" English nouns like 'book', 
'chair', 'spoon', etc.-we sometimes use the plural to express this massively constructed individual 
('Books are important to man'), and sometimes the singular with the definite article (The lion is 
found all over Africa'). It is usually obvious from the context that the speaker does not mean to 
talk about all or any books or lions as individual particles. Thus it is not the case that every book 
is important to humankind, and it is certainly not true that any particular lion is found all over 
Africa. It is the mass individual Felis leo who has spread his tawny presence over Africa. But the 
trouble with these English designations is that they are not very distinctive. Thus with the same 
grammatical constructions one can also designate guite particular things or sets of things (The 
lion roared', 'Books were on the table'). The English listener must, as usual, guess from context 
what kind of creature the speaker has in mind.. .although we are so used to doing this in English 
that it does not seem to us to be a very difficult thing to do. 

In Loglan a distinct grammatical form exists for each of these distinct mechanisms of 
designation. There can be no doubt that the Loglan speaker who says lo simba is designating 
lion-kind, and that lo bukcu means that massive individual composed of all the books there are 
or have been or ever will be. For there is no restriction in Loglan on the kind of predicate to 
which the lo operator may be applied. Even the most countable things can be massified, and the 
most uncountable things particularized; for Loglan does not divide the world up in this way. 

Before we leave mass descriptions it is worth pointing out that the languages of some preliterate 
peoples apparently employ the idea of mass description as the elementary meaning of their basic 
predicate words. Thus the Trobriand Islanders are reported to place this interpretation on all their 
nouns; whence the curious world-view arises that what we Indo-Europeans would call a single 
instance of a thing is, to them, nothing but a part, or reappearance, or manifestation of the same, 
massive individual thing. Thus every rabbit is just another appearance of Mr. Rabbit; every yam 
just another manifestation of Mr. Y am; every baby just a part of Mr. Baby all over again. I don't 
know if many Trobrianders will learn Loglan, but if they do they will find an apparatus readily 
available in it with which to describe the world exactly as they see it. And the lo-operator will be 
as common in their speech as le will be in yours and mine.— 

4.10 Quotation with and liu lie 

In the last three sections we have discussed three very similar ways of forming designations in 
Loglan: (i) naming with la , (ii) describing particular things with le, and (iii) describing masses of 
things with lo. There is a fourth kind of designation, namely description by guotation; and for 
this we will need the marks [lee.. .loo], liu [lee-oo] and lie [lee-EH], the second syllable in 
the last word being nearly always stressed. 

Not only are all punctuation marks spoken words in Loglan, as we have observed before, but the 
affinities of guotation marks with the other descriptive operators of Loglan is phonemically clear. 

Thus the very sound of the word li suggests that it is related to the descriptors la, le and lo ; all in 
some sense meaning 'the'. And so it is. For just as le means 'the one I mean that is...', and la 
means 'the one I mean named...', so li means 'the thing I mean that looks or sounds like...'. Thus 
guotation is really description by imitation. 

(1) Li, Kristobal Kolo'n, lu logla namci la 'Kristobal Kolo'n' is the Loglan 
Kristobal Kolo'n name of Christopher Columbus. 


In (1) the speaker has imitated a portion of Loglan speech or writing- -perhaps copied it from a 
book-and put the imitation between the marks li, and , lu in order to guote it. Note that pauses- 
represented as usual by commas in text-are also reguired around the guoted string. This style of 
guotation is called weak quotation. With it any string of well-formed Loglan may be 
unambiguously guoted. 

But sometimes we wish to guote ill-formed strings.. .including some that might have an extra lu 
in it, which would baffle the machine. Even foreign utterances, in which there's no predicting 
how many stray lu's there might be, also need to be guoted. For these two occasions Loglan has a 
more robust style of guotation called strong quotation. This is done with lie X, ..., X, in which 
the repeated boundary marker X is any arbitrary Loglan word, usually a letter word, that does not 
occur within the guoted string. For example, 

(2) Lie gei, Christopher Columbus, gei 'Christopher Columbus' is the 
gleca namci la Kristobal Kolo'n English name of Christopher 


Here gei (g) has been chosen as the repeated letter-word because the guoted string is an 
expression of English (gleca [GLEH-shah]) and because the sounds [gay] of gei do not occur in 
it. If we had guoted the Spanish (spana) name of Christopher Columbus, or the German (dotca) 
one, we could have used sei or dei because neither [say] nor [day] occur in it as well. For 

(3) Lie sei, Cristobal Colo'n, sei spana 'Cristobal Colon' is the Spanish 
namci la Kristobal Kolo'n name of Christopher Columbus. 


The second and fourth pauses are optional; the ones before and after sei are reguired to make 
strong guotation work.— 

Note that the argument la Kristobal Kolo'n designates a once- living person, while the 
arguments Li, Kristobal Kolo'n, lu; Lie gei, Christopher Columbus, gei; and Lie sei, 
Cristobal Colo'n, sei all designate portions of human speech, namely a Loglan, an English, and 
a Spanish name. Kristobal Kolo'n, 'Cristobal Colo'n' and 'Christopher Columbus' are different 
names; but they name the same person, namely Cristobal Colo'n. 

Weak quotation with li and lu is used much as ordinary quotation marks are used in written 
Enqlish. The chief difference is that in Loglan they are spoken words. In fact li and lu are used 
exactly as the words 'quote' and 'end quote' are used in certain styles of spoken English, 
especially the style that is invoked when the speaker wishes to be very certain that someone 
else's words are not mistaken for his own.— In Loglan the motivation of the speaker's use of li 
and lu is logical, and hence less circumstantial. For there is a difference between the name of a 
thing and that thing. This difference is fundamental in a logical language. So quotation marks are 
never omitted in Loglan even when their presence might be thought to be assumed. Thus, of the 
two sentences, 

(4) Liu Djan, corta purda 'John' is a short word. 


(5) La Djan, corta purda John is a short word. 


only one is true if, as we assume, John is not a word of any length but a man. Here liu (a blend of 
li and lu) is the single word quotation operator and may always be translated 'The word '...". Liu 
may only be used with confidence on Loglan words.— 

In spoken English all these clarifying marks are coirrmonly left out The usual form of the 

sentence which means (4) is spoken exactly as it would be spoken if the speaker had meant (5). 
We rely on the "good sense" of the listener not to infer that the speaker actually meant (5). 
Again, the interpretation of English depends on context. Loglan does not. In Loglan we wish to 
be able to speak nonsense when we want to.— Thus (4) and (5) in Loglan are invariably distinct 

In some forms of written Loglan the words li and lu may be replaced by their signs '«' and '»'.— 
So written (1) becomes: 

(6) «Kristobal Kolon» logla namci la Kristobal Kolon 

But, as always, such signs are pronounced as words in speech. 

Summarizing, there are three kinds of quotation words in Loglan: (i) ordinary or weak quotation 
with; (ii) single word quotation with liu; and (iii) strong quotation with lie X...X. In the 
latter X is any exactly repeated boundary marker that does not occur in the quoted string. When 
convenient X may be the letter word for the initial letter of the Loglan predicate for the language 
of the quoted string. Strong quotation can handle any kind of quoted string including nonsense 
and non- Loglan. 

4.11 Abstract Description with lopo lopu lozo 

We are now ready to deal with the abstract entities we left hanging in Chapter 3. Y ou may recall 
that the abstract operators p o , pu and zo which we discussed in that chapter permitted us to form 
predicate expressions like pu gudbi which meant ' a property of being good', but that 

"goodness-in-general", or what we there called "virtue", was still beyond us at that time. But we 
are now ready for Virtue'. Surprisingly, it is a mass term. For it is used exactly like the word 
'butter' is used in English and evidently designates the mass individual manifested in all the 
particular instances of virtue that there are. Conseguently, the Loglan designation that translates 
this word is made with the compound operator lopu, which is lo + pu and usually pronounced 
[loh-poo]; and Virtue' in Loglan is lopu gudbi /lopuGUDbi/, or the mass composed of all the 
properties of anyone's or anything's being good that there are. Similarly, we would expect lopo 
gudbi to be used when the mass individual was to be composed of all the acts, states or events of 
goodness that there are, and to be best translated into English by 'goodness'. Finally, we would 
expect lozo gudbi to be used when the mass individual was to be composed of all the measurable 
guantities of goodness that there are, the latter being translatable by no English word or simple 
phrase because no such concept is readily available to speakers of English. To translate lozo 
preda we have to use a circumlocution.. .as I just have. 

Note that some of the constructions we are now encountering are more complex in Loglan than 
they are in English. And rightly so. For the ideas that underlie them are in fact complex. Because 
they seem very simple in English, words like 'virtue', 'courage', 'weight', and 'length' are logically 
very troublesome to our English-thinking minds. Where are these individuals? What does it 
mean to "love" virtue, or to "have" weight? In Loglan it is plain that these individuals are 
complex creations of the human mind.— To love lopu gudbi is to love a massive, discontinuous, 
widely distributed individual composed of all the instances of just that property by which all the 
phenomena that ever exhibit it may be said to be good. That is possible.. .in Loglan as well as in 
English. But in Loglan it is obvious that it is a very different enterprise than loving John. 

On the other hand, some uses of abstract words in English obscure some very simple ideas. For 
example, to "have weight" is simply to weigh something, and no abstract entity is involved in 
doing that. Thus the abstract creature we call 'weight' is lopu tidjo in Loglan; for in more explicit 
English, weight is all the heaviness there is. But to say that X "has weight" is simply to say 

(1) Da tidjo X is heavier than (something). 


which doesn't involve abstraction at all. Thus the Loglan speaker is usually not inclined to speak 
in this unnecessarily abstract English way. Even so, da could translate such English expressions 
literally if da wished to. Here is one way to do it: 

(2) Da katli lopu tidjo X has (is characterized by) Mr. 


Talking abstractly about things that can be talked about concretely is not a very satisfactory 
procedure in any language. On the other hand people do have genuine attitudes toward abstract 
things, if only because the structure of their language tempts them to see the world in an abstract 
way. Thus to say 

(3) La Djan ; cluva lopo sucmi John loves swimming. 


is a perfectly sensible thing to do in English, though a curious one in Loglan. But presumably in 
both languages what John loves is just this abstract massively distributed thing composed of all 
the events of swimming that there are. (Notice that we are now using the event-operator po.) But 
if what John really loves is his swimming, then in Loglan we would say so: 

(4) Da cluva lopo da sucmi He loves the mass of all events 

composed of his swimming. 

In pidgin-style English, 'X love mass-event X swim.' Similarly, to love the color blue, as in 

(5) Da cluva lopu blanu X loves blue. 


is easier to do in English than in Loglan. For the word 'blue' functions in such English sentences 
as if it were a proper name (e.g., 'X loves Mary'). But it is possible to love blue even in Loglan. It 
may be a little more troublesome to do so, for it is necessary to perform two distinct grammatical 
operations on the naked predicate blanu with which the Loglan mind begins. Even so, such 
designations can be formed. 

We may expect, therefore, that our customary European attitudes toward abstract entities will 
survive in Loglan, but with a finer set of discriminations than we are used to in English. For if 
you're going to love virtue in Loglan you must first decide whether it is the mass of all 
goodnesses that you love, or all states of being good, or all guantities of goodness, or, a little 
more concretely, the mass of all good things. Thus 

(6) Mi cluva lopu gudbi I love the property that good 

things have. 

(7) Mi cluva lopo gudbi I love good states-of-affairs. 


(8) Mi cluva lozo gudbi I love all the guantities of 

goodness in good things. 

(9) Mi cluva lo gudbi I love good things. 


are your choices. For each might be said to be a legitimate translation of 'I love virtue' into 
Loglan. Again we see that Loglan embraces English but exceeds it, and in ways that will 
probably lead to greater awareness of the nature of abstraction than is usual among speakers of 
English. For if a thing is an abstract entity and not a concrete one, it will be obvious in Loglan 

that it is, and in just what ways. We suppose there will be some advantage in this arrangement 
for the thinker.— 

4.12 Specified Description with je jue 

We can now go back to deal with a matter that we left unsettled at the end of Section 4.8 . In that 
section we dealt with particular descriptions formed with le, and we concluded by saying that 
any untensed and unspecified predicate expression of the language could be made the basis of a 
description with le without adjusting it in any way. Mass descriptions with lo, we later implied, 
could be constructed from predicates selected from the same broad domain. But now suppose we 
do want to form a description with a specified predicate, that is, with a predicate that has one or 
more of its arguments shown. Suppose, for example, we want to use the specified predicate farfu 
la Rabrt, as it might occur in the sentence Da farfu la Rabrt ('X is the father of Robert') as the 
basis of a description. That is, we wish to designate someone who is-or is locatable as- the 
father of Robert. What adjustment must we make, and why? 

First let us see what happens if we try to describe the father of Robert in the usual way. Suppose 
we simply precede the predicate expression farfu la Rabrt with le as follows: 

(1) Le farfu la Rabrt ??? 


But what have we designated? Not one thing, but two. For if we now try to use the string we 
formed in (1) as an argument of some multi- place predicate, for example with the predicate 
godzi ('...goes to. ..from...') as below, 

(2) Da pa godzi le farfu la Rabrt 

/dapaG D zileFA Rf ulaRA B it/ 

we then see that the single designation we thought we had formed breaks up immediately into 
two: le farfu and la Rabrt. In (2) we hoped to say the X went to the father o/Robert; instead 
what we actually said was that X went to the father from Robert. For Robert has changed 
allegiance. No longer is he the father's son; he is now the point of departure from which X went. 

To avoid this kind of confusion, Loglan uses two little linking words to attach the arguments of 
specified descriptions to the main descriptive term. Je [zheh] is the first of these and links second 
arguments to descriptions. Thus what we failed to say in (2) we may now say by using je: 

(3) Da pa godzi le farfu je la Rabrt X went to the- father- of- Robert. 

/dapaG D zileFA Rf uj elaRA B it/ 

It is as if we had hyphenated the whole phrase. For le farfu je la Rabrt now functions 
everywhere as a single term. To attach two specifying arguments to a description, we use je and 
the second linking operator jue [zhweh] as follows: 

(4) Da pa godzi le farfu je la Rabrt, jue la X went to the-father-of-Robert- 
Meris by- Mary. 


and je and jue now hold the entire description le farfu je la Rabrt jue la Meris together. And to 
attach three or more arguments to a description, we use je first and then as many instances of 
jue as wereguire: 

(5) Da pa godzi levedmajele norma jue X went to the-seller-of-the-horse- 
la Djan ; jue lo nema dalri to-John- for-the-hundred-dollars. 


I have hyphenated the whole English phrase starting with 'the-seller-' and ending with '-dollars' to 
show that the Loglan construction is similarly linked by its je's and jue's into a single term. Jue 
is the general link for all arguments in third or higher places of a descriptive predicate. (The 
word nema, by the way, is a number word meaning 'one hundred'.) 

Now a world of English ambiguities is avoided by this device. For though the number of English 
prepositions is very large, they do not work as effectively in keeping descriptive meanings 
straight as the pair of Loglan linking words je and jue. 

For example, suppose I say in English 'I talked to the teacher of many things.' What do I mean? 
That we talked about many things? Or that the teacher taught many subjects? In English, one 
cannot be sure. In Loglan, one cannot be in doubt. The little word ro means 'many'; and the 
predicate bekti is the general word for 'thing'. The predicate takna means '...talks to. ..about...'. 
Therefore, the two possible interpretations of the English sentence can be said uneguivocally in 
Loglan in these two ways: 

(6) Mi pa takna le ditca ro bekti I talked to the teacher about many 


(7) Mi pa takna le ditca je ro bekti I talked to the teacher-o/-many- 


(Both pauses are phrasing pauses.) The difference, of course, is the presence in (7), and the 
absence in (6), of the linking operator je. Accordingly, the phrase le ditca ro bekti in (6) 
represents two arguments, the second and third arguments respectively of the predicate takna 
('...talks to. ..about...'). While in (7) the linked phrase le ditca je ro bekti ('the teacher o/many 
things') functions as a single argument, namely as the second argument of that same predicate. 
What could be clearer? A little experimentation with the linking operators will show that they 
settle nearly all prepositional ambiguities of this kind. For example: 

(8) Le furvea je le kamla je la Romas The buyer of the thing that comes 

from Rome. 

/lefurV Eaj eleK A M laJElaRO mas/ 
(9) Le furvea je le kamla jue la Romas The buyer of the thing that 

comes... from Rome (as the seller). 

Here English 'from' does not succeed in distinguishing the two ways in which Rome is linked in 
these descriptions, despite the pause that we hopefully introduce in (9). In Loglan, however, the 
difference between je and jue clearly shows that la Romas is the second argument of kamla in 
(8) ; that is ; a place of origin, and the third argument of furvea in (9) ; that is ; the seller of 
whatever came. This is tricky. ..but in English, not in Loglan. 

Incidentally, mass descriptions may also be specified. But to do so may severely limit the extent 
of their "massiveness". Thus, when unspecified, the description lo farfu designates a massive 
object with many parts (as in 'Fathers of the world unite'). But should we now specify the 
predicate farfu, as in lo farfu je la Rabrt, we would find that the corporate entity we have now 
designated (as in 'Fathers of Robert unite') is exactly the same entity as the single person we 
might have designated with le farfu je la Rabrt. But again it is a matter of biology, not 
grammar, that people have only one father. So the distinction between le farfu je la Rabrt and 
lo farfu je la Rabrt exists to tease the fancy, if not the factual mind. 

4.13 Event Descriptions with lepo 

There is one variety of specified description that deserves and gets special treatment in Loglan. 
This is the specified abstract description formed with a compound operator made by joining any 
descriptive operator to p o , pu or zo. The most widely used form of this construction is called 
event description and is made with the compound operator lepo (typically pronounced [leh-poh] 
with level stress), a word that may always be translated 'the event, state or condition of...'. Thus 
the unspecified description lepo sucmi means 'the particular event of swimming which I have in 
mind', or simply 'the swim'. Similarly, lepo prano means 'the run', and lepo mrenu means 'the 
manhood (of some particular person)'. Obviously we shall sometimes want to specify such 
predicates as richly as we can. For we shall often want to anticipate such guestions as: Whose 
manhood? Who ran? And where did he run? 

Now the special treatment consists in this. Where the specification of concrete descriptions is 
limited to the second and higher order arguments of a predicate (le farfu je la Djan), the 
specification of abstract predicates may include the mention of first arguments as well. Thus we 

( 1 ) Lepo da sucmi The event of X 's swimming, that 

is, X 's swim. 

(2) Lepo da mrenu The state of X 's being a man, that 

is, X 's manhood. 

as well as the more abundantly specified forms 

(3) Lepo da prano de di The event of X 's running to Y 


(4) LepolaDjan, pa traci la Espanias, la John's trip (i.e., the event of his 
Frans travelling) to Spain from France. 


We now observe that the constructions which form the basis of these descriptions are not simply 
predicate expressions, but whole sentences: Da sucmi; Da mrenu; Da prano de di; and La 
Djan, pa traci la Espanias, la Frans. Obviously this is a very flexible form. Notice something 
else. The specified arguments in (3) and (4) evidently do not reguire the linking operators je and 
jue which we learned to use in specifying descriptions in the previous section. Why is this? 

The reason is that event descriptions are formed, not with predicate expressions, but with what 
we may usefully think of as whole sentences. The sentence may be incomplete, even totally 
without arguments, as in lepo sucmi, or it may be complete with all possible arguments 
mentioned, as in lepo da sucmi de di do ('the event of X 's swimming to Y from Z by route W'); 
but any sentence whatever may be used to form an event description with the phrase lepo. 
Special punctuation rules we will study later guard this construction against ambiguity .— 

We sense immediately how convenient this new form is. For we now have a form in which any 
conceivable event, state or condition, whether actual or imaginary, may be easily designated 
simply by preceding any sentence which asserts it with the phrase lepo. One conseguence of this 
way of designating events is that imaginary states of affairs may be designated without asserting 
their existence. Thus with event descriptions we can talk about the events which people fear, 
hope or expect, or the states of affairs in which they believe, whether these events or states are 
ever realized or not. As usual we can do so in a more straightforward way than is possible in 

In English we say 'John believes that it will rain.' But what is it in which John believes? English 
grammarians call this kind of thing "indirect discourse", suggesting that there is a sentence 
somewhere which the speaker does not bother to guote directly but in the truth of which da is 
saying John believes. But this is not a very satisfactory account of the meaning of this clause. 
Suppose there is no sentence. Suppose John goes to the window, looks at the sky, gets his 
raincoat, and goes out. Observing this, we may say with some confidence John believes that it 
will rain.' But the object we are designating with the phrase 'that it will rain' is certainly not 
discourse of any kind. 

In Loglan, we say 

(5) La Djan, krido lepo fa crina [SHREE- John believes that the event of 
nah] raining will happen. 


For we suppose that what is related to believers by predicates of this kind are events or states-of- 
affairs, and not sentences at all. Thus we may also say: 

(6) Da pa spopa lepo de fa kamla X hoped that Y would come (that 

is ; that the event of Y 's coming 
will happen). 

/dapaSPO palepodef aK A M la/ 

(7) Mi djano lepo laTer, bamfoa[bahm- I know that the Earth is round 
FOH-ah] (ball- form), that is, that the state 

of the Earth's being round obtains. 

All Loglan predicates which express the ideas of English 'know' ; 'believe', 'hope', 'fear', 'expect', 
'want', 'wish', and the like, may take event- descriptions as arguments in Loglan.— 

But suppose we want to say that someone believes in the truth of an actual sentence. Can we do 
so? Of course; but by the same kind of precise construction that is reguired to make this unusual 
claim in English: 

(8) Mi djano lepo li, La Ter, bamfoa, lu I know that 'The Earth is round' is 
tradu true. 


In Chapter 5, on utterance forms, we will see how event- descriptions figure importantly in the 
construction of subordinate clauses. But for the moment we will deal with them as if they were 
simply another kind of Loglan argument form. 

4.14 The Predicate Marker ga 

We now consider what happens to a description when it occupies the first place of an unadorned 
predicate. For example, suppose we wish to say that some particular wise person is a man in the 
same time- free sense that we already know how to say that X is a man, namely 

(1) Damrenu X is a man. 


If now we wish to substitute the description Le sadji ('the wise one') for Da in (1), we get: 

(2) Le sadji mrenu ??? 


Does this mean what we intend? Or does it mean 'the wise man', which is not a sentence at all (it 
claims nothing) but a more elaborate description? Obviously the expression Le sadji mrenu will 
be interpreted as a description no matter what we intend. It is clear that we have uncovered a 

major source of ambiguity were no special provision made to prevent such- -evidently futile- 
intentions from arising. That special rule is that whenever a predicate word is the last word to 
appear before an unadorned predicate expression, then we use the marker word ga in the position 
of the tense operator to mark the point at which the description ends and the predicate expression 

(3) Lesadjigamrenu The wise one is a man. 


This is an awkward rule;— but it preserves the economy of such expressions as Da mrenu and 
La Djan mrenu which reguire no marker word. It is the price we willingly pay for the logical 
advantage that all predicate words in Loglan belong to a single part of speech.— 

4.15 Tensed and Located Description with lena lepa lefa levi 

We can now consider several other varieties of description. In Section 4.8 , where we first talked 
about description, we said that only untensed predicate expressions could become the basis of 
descriptions. This seems arbitrary. Suppose we do want to add a time particular to some 
description, as in 'the present king of England'. Can we do this in Loglan? Of course; but it turns 
out to be more parsimonious, grammatically, to generate a set of tensed descriptors- such as lena 
[leh-nah] ('the present'), lepa [leh-pah] ('the- former 1 ) and lefa [leh-fah] ('the- future') -to do this 
work, rather than permitting tense operators to occur within descriptively used predicates. But 
with these modified descriptors one may make tensed descriptions in Loglan after all: 

(1) Lena bragai [BRAH-gigh] je la The present king (born-ruler) of 
Inglynd[EENG-gluhnd] England. 

/lenaB RA gaij elalNglynd/ 

(2) Lepaditca The former teacher. 


(3) Lefamatma The future mother. 


and even tensed mass descriptions as in 

(4) Lofa humni Future humanity. 


(5) Lona simba Present lionkind. 


Notice that when a stressed syllable precedes a predicate word it must be separated from the 
predicate by a pause. As noted in Chapter 2, this is a general rule. No stressed syllable may 
pauselessly precede a predicate. 

Perhaps more important for translating English than the tensed descriptors, however, are the 
spatially particularized descriptors formed with vi and va. As we saw in the chapter on 
predicates, these two little words mean 'here' and 'there', and are used in many ways as tense 
operators are used in Loglan. Like tense operators, they may be combined with either le or lo to 
form just those demonstrative descriptions which we would translate into English with 'this' and 
'that', as in the sentences below: 

(6) Levi bukcu ga redro This book (i.e., the-here book) is 


(7) Leva fumna ga mrenu The-there woman is a man. (That 

woman is a man.) 

and even: 

(8) Lovi cutri ga kofhatro [kohf-HAHT- The (mass of) here water is warm 
roh] (comfortably-hot). (The water 

here is warm.) 

The distinction between lovi cutri and levi cutri ('the mass of all the water here' and 'this 
particular puddle of water here') will not seem immediately useful to the English mind. For the 
noun 'water 1 seems incorrigibly masslike in English and the adjective 'this' in the phrase 'this 
water' does little to particularize it. But the Loglan mind starts with integral bits and pieces of 
water and will therefore be tempted to use lo cutri and lovi cutri only when some synthesis of 
these elementary bits and pieces is intended. In short, to use this apparatus intelligently we shall 
have to think about the distinction between le and lo in a Loglan way.— The distinction between 
these operators arises, of course, from the fact that every Loglan predicate is a general term. 
Thus while the Loglan mind starts with pieces of water and bits of better-than, it can be carried 
by abstraction and mass description to whatever lofty abstractions of "waterness" and virtue we 
Indo-European thinkers might reguire. And by the operations of specifying predicates, or tensing 
them or locating them, we can stop anywhere we like along the way. Thus with lovi cutri we 
pause to glance at the local mass of water on our way. 

4.16 Possessive Description with lemi letu leda 

The mechanism of "possession" in language ('my hat', 'your mother', 'John's book', etc.) is a 
widely misunderstood phenomenon. It is unfortunate that the grammarians who first studied it 
called it "possession", for usually the relationship it specifies has nothing to do with possessing 
things at all. Thus, in English I can talk of my son's clothes (which he doesn't really own any 
more than I own him), of your mother (whom you certainly don't own), of my skin (which is 
simply attached to me) or even of his corner of the room (which is where he is). Thus a huge 
variety of predicate relations is evidently hidden in these slippery little "possessive" words. 

Even so ; if we are to translate from the natural languages, we need the "possessive" descriptors, 
for they provide a useful kind of brevity. But let us be clear about what they are abbreviations of. 
If you think about it, you will see that when you say 'my hat' you are designating it; and you are 
doing so by implying that it is a hat that is related in some way to you. Y ou may have several, 
but this is the one you mean. Moreover, your designation is a description. It utilizes the predicate 
'is a hat' in a perfectly regular way. It also uses another fact about that hat in a second but implicit 
description, namely that it is related somehow to you. Probably the essence of your relation to 
your hat is that you are the only one who uses it. But whatever that relation is, it is not explicitly 
predicated in your designation 'my hat'. Thus you have used two properties of your hat to 
describe it: one explicitly (that it's a hat), the other implicitly (that it is related somehow-you 
haven't said how-to you). 

In English none of this is clear. It can be found out by analysis, of course, for we have found it 
out in English. But the semantic structure of the English possessive pronouns cannot be seen 
either in their word forms or in their grammatical inflections in that language. Here is a sentence 
with a Loglan possessive form: 

(1) Lemi bukcu ga blanu My book is blue. 

/lemiB UK cugaB L A nu/ 

The first thing we make clear is that the expression lemi bukcu is a description ('the-me book'). 
For it involves the descriptive operator le in a most obvious way. Secondly, by using bukcu in 
lemi bukcu just as we use it in le bukcu, we also make clear that the predicate bukcu is the 
basis of this description, too. Whatever additional properties it may have, the thing we intend you 
to look for is at least a book. Thirdly, the auxiliary role of the word mi in the descriptive operator 
lemi suggests to the listener-on the model of levi and lena-that an abbreviation of something 
else is afoot. It is. That something else is that I am related somehow to the designated thing. 
Thus, look for it in my hand, on my desk, or where I left it. And that is all. Y ou must not expect 
me to furnish the deed.— 

With lemi as a model, we can now interpret some of the other possessive constructions of the 

(2) Donsu mi lotu bukcu Give me your books (all of them). 


(3) Da pa donsu de leda mroza X gave Y his hammer (X gave Y 

the-X hammer). 
/dapaD Nsude.ledaPU Rda/ 

(4) Le la Djan, norma ga kukra \emu John's horse is faster than our 
horma horse. (The-John horse is faster 

than the-we horse.) 

(5) Lemi da gudbi letu de Mine (the-me X ) is better than 

yours (the-youY). 


In sentence (5) a curious thing happens. A possessive description has been formed, not with a 
predicate, but with a variable in the usual place of the predicate (da in lemi da). What this means 
is that the explicit portion of the possessive description has been omitted, and we are left with its 
implicit portion only: namely that I am referring to some X that is related in some way to me. 
This is, of course, exactly what we mean by 'mine'. 

Now you have probably sensed that the utility of the possessive form lies not only in its economy 
but in its vagueness. For it is not only simpler to say 'my hat' than 'the hat which I regularly use' 
in both English and Loglan (lemi kapma as opposed to le kapma ce nu plizo je mi = 'the thing 
which is a hat and used by me'), but just as in English, the very vagueness of the unspecified 
relation is sometimes useful. Suppose I don't know how Johnny is related to the carl see him 
driving (it is probably owned by his father). When I call it le la Djanis, tcaro ('the-Johnny car') I 
avoid committing myself on this delicate matter. But suppose there is no doubt about the 
relationship which I want to impute. Suppose I am talking about his mother. Do I say le la 
Djanis, matma in Loglan? 

I may do so if I wish; but it is an unnecessary circumlocution for what can easily be said directly, 
in Loglan. For le matma je la Djanis ('the mother of Johnny') provides what will almost always 
be a better designation in Loglan of Johnny's mother, that is, a more useful one, than le la 
Dj anis, matma is. For le matma j e la Dj anis is a specified description which relates J ohnny as 
an offspring to his mother: a much more exact relation than "possession". Similarly, the 
predicates for body-parts are all two-place predicates in Loglan. It is therefore unnecessarily 
vague to say lemi barma ('the- me arm') when you can say le barma je mi much more explicitly. 
One is not related to one's arm vaguely, at least not in Loglan. 

Mass descriptions may also be possessive in Loglan. Thus lo resfu means 'clothing in general' 
(resfu = 'is a garment, an article of clothing'), whereas lomi resfu means 'my clothing'. This is 
another momentary specialization of a mass term-or partial massification of a general term, as 
we might now prefer to say- which is similar in mood and structure to the located mass term lovi 
cutri. Thus semantic parallels often exist between one grammatical construction and another in 
Loglan, and these are usually reflected in their having similar structures in a Loglan-viewed 

4.17 Possession with pe 

The possessive formle la K ristobal K olo'n, botsu ('Christopher Columbus's boat') is as clumsy 
an expression in Loglan as it is in English. A simple operation exists to reverse these terms.. .in 
both languages: 

(1) Le botsu pe la K ristobal K olo'n The boat of Christopher 


Notice the structural parallel between this designation and the following one: 

(2) Le matma je la Kristobal Kolo'n The mother of Christopher 


Now je warns us that Christopher is related in a very definite way to his mother; that is ; she bore 
him. But pe [peh] is a kind of vague, all-purpose linking marker saying only that he's related in 
some way to his boat: that he owns it, sails around on it, goes to sea in it, is its captain or its 

But now suppose that we wish to talk of that man's boat. That man' is easy enough; it is leva 
mrenu. But if we put leva mrenu in the position of la Djan in le la Djan botsu, we encounter a 
difficulty. For *le leva mrenu botsu seems to say 'the that man type of boat', which says nothing 
at all in Loglan. Obviously we need to terminate the internal description leva mrenu with some 
kind of marker. We may do so with the comma-word gu [goo], and gu may or may not be 
accompanied by a pause. 

(3) Le leva mrenu gu, botsu That man's boat (the that-man 


But we may feel that this, too, is clumsy, especially if we want to say more about the man. So we 
might prefer the inverse possessive forms with pe: 

(4) Le botsu pe leva mrenu The boat of that man. 


(5) Le botsu, pe le bilti ce cmalo ge nirli The boat of the pretty little girls' 
ckela school. 


Thus pe is used most effectively when the speaker wishes to designate the "possessor" with a 
longer and more elaborate construction than da plans for the "possessed." 

4.18 Predicate Names 

A maneuver that looks like description but is not is to use the name operator la to turn a 
predicate or predicate expression into a name. The predicates used for this purpose are always 
predicates that may be used as calls, that is, to call the attention of someone, just as we may use 
the predicate 'father' to call 'Father!' in English. We will learn how to make attention-calling 
expressions of this kind (vocatives) in the next chapter. But in this one we are concerned with 
how predicate names may be used to talk about the people whose attention may be called with 

In English we express our intention to make a name out of a predicate by dropping the article and 
capitalizing its initial letter when we use it in writing. 'Father', we say or write, 'got back last 

night' In Loglan we accomplish this same purpose by using the name operator la in both speech 
and text and capitalizing the predicate word or words in text: 

(1) La Farfu, pa favgoi [FAHV-goy] na Father returned (reverse- went) 
lepazi natli last night. 


(Pazi means 'just preceding', so lepazi natli means 'the-just-past night'. There will be more on 
this kind of maneuver in Chapter 5.) How different this is from the same sentence with the 
ordinary descriptor le: 

(2) Le farfu pa favgoi na lepazi natli The father returned last night. 


Sentence (1) suggests that the speaker is one of the father's offspring, or at least a member of his 
household... one of the few people, at any rate, who are entitled to call him by that name. 
Sentence (2), in contrast, suggests that the speaker is a detached observer, perhaps a detective 
staked-out in front of the Jones house, say, who is reporting that the father of the family has 

In general, to use a predicate as a name rather than as a description connotes familiarity, even 
intimacy: the intimacy reserved for those who have the right to use such words as names. 
'Father', 'Mother', 'Man', 'Woman', 'Husband', 'Darling', 'Sister', 'Brother', 'Son', 'Fatty', 'Boy', 'Big 
Guy', and so on, are among the numerous English predicates that turn up as names in that 

The intimacy effect of using predicate names is often exploited by tellers of children's stories. 

(3) Rat told Dog he was going fishing with Cat. 

'(To) tell' is to '(to) knowledge-give' in Loglan; so this word is djadou [jah-DOH-oo] from djano 
donsu. '(To) go fishing with' is '(to) fish-hunt-accompany'; so this one is ficyjankii [feesh-uh- 
zhan-KEE-ee] from ficli janto kind. The predicates for 'rat', 'dog' and 'cat' are ratcu, kangu and 
katma, respectively. So this line could go into a Loglan children's story as: 

(3') La Ratcu, pa djadou la Kangu lepo de fa ficyjankii la Katma 


With these examples I have let us get slightly ahead of our grammar. We do not really know how 
to make three-term complexes like ficyjankii ('fish- hunt- with') or modifying phrases like na 
lepazi natli ('in the-just-past night'), or how and when to use them. These topics will be treated 
in the next chapter, which is on the structure of utterances. But in the next section we will 
consider how we can make shorter names for use in such stories once we do know how to write 

We are still concerned, in short, with the ingredients of utterances rather than their structure. 

4.19 Names from Predicates and Little Words 

A name in Loglan is any consonant- final word. Therefore a very natural way of making names is 
to drop the final vowel or vowels from a predicate word, getting Mren from mrenu, for 
example, or to add a final consonant to a little word, getting Tun from tu. We may call the 
names made in these ways internal names because they come from inside the language. Most 
Loglan names, of course, are borrowed. 

For example, The Institute has a dog named Cimr [SHEE-mrr] and it once had a cat named 
Gro'katm [GROH-kah-tmm]. The name Cimr was made from the predicate cimra [SHEEM- 
rah], which means 'summer' and fits the sunny temperament of its referent. The predicate 
grokatma [groh-KAHT-mah], which means 'big-cat', was the source of Gro'katm.. .with its 
abnormal and therefore marked stress, notice. Grokatma, from groda katma, was a complex 
derived on the spot for that monstrous cat. 

Tun itself is an excellent example of an internal name made from a little word. It is the name of 
Y ou, or of whatever person the speaker can get the attention of by shouting it. Spoken like Y ou, 
there!' into a crowd of inert bystanders, Tun is the temporary name of whoever will respond. 
We'll see in Section 4.27 how numerical names, like Ten and Fon (Three' and 'Four') may also 
be made by the consonant- adding route. Conventionally, the consonant that is always added to 
make little word names is n. 

All the predicate names in the last section could have been made as calls first by the vowel- 
dropping route. Thus, la Farfu could have been la Farf or la Far, 'Mom' could be Mat or Matm 
([MAH-tmm] to rhyme with Gro'katm), and the name of the personage called Rat in the 
children's story could have been rendered with either Loglan Rat [raht] or Rate [rahtch] as the 
writer preferred. Similarly, the character of Dog could have been Loglan Kan or Kang [kahngg], 
with the hard [g] after [ng] definitely pronounced, and Cat could have been Loglan Kat [kaht] or 
Katm, again as the writer preferred. 

Indeed, using a predicate as a name is a rather formal thing to do, just as 'Father' is formal in 
English. But dropping a vowel, or a vowel and a consonant, from the same predicates is an 
informal, even familiar move. It yields Mat and Far, which, like 'Mom' and 'Dad', amount to 
nicknames. So with Loglan words like Rat, Kan, Kat, Fum, Mat and Far we enter the 
affectionate world of nicknames. 

420 Set Description with toe leu lea 

There are three other little words that have grammatical distributions which are identical to that 
of le and lo, and these are the set descriptors loe leu lea [loh-eh, leigh-oo, leigh-ah]. Each has a 
special variety of 'the' to convey that lends precision to description in Loglan. Each involves sets 
in some way. In the following discussion we will use the Loglan word preda to stand for any 

Loglan predicate expression and the English nonce word 'preda' for its translation into English as 
a common noun. 

Loe preda designates the characteristic or typical individual preda which best exemplifies the set 
of predas in the given context. At bottom this is a statistical construct. For instance, 

(1) Loe femdi cimpanizi [sheem-pah- The (typical) female chimpanzee 
NEE-zee] ga forli loe mendi ce humni is stronger than the typical) male 
atlete human athlete. 


would reguire the mounting of a fairly extensive experimental enterprise in order to confirm or 
refute it. Indeed, (1) might be the conclusion of such an investigation, or a result remembered 
from reading about one. 

In English we would usually say The chimpanzee female is stronger than the human male 
athlete' and leave the listener to figure out what sensible thing we might have meant. In Loglan 
we must do better than that. We make such statements more precise by using loe, a special kind 
of 'the' in which the notion of typicality is built in. 

Leu preda designates the set of predas- not the individual predas, note, but the particular set- 
which the speaker has in mind. It means 'the set of some (predas)'. 

(2) Leu monca gorla ga cmalo [SHMAH- The (set of) mountain gorillas (I 
loh] have in mind) are few (literally, is 


Like le- designations, leu- designations are intentional. That is, they designate whatever set the 
speaker intends to designate with da's description. But unlike le-designata-the things that le- 
phrases designate-leu-designata are sets, not individuals. Thus, we may compare their properties 
with those of other sets, for example, in size, diversity, longevity, and so on. Certainly the 
speaker of (2) does not mean that any particular mountain gorilla is small, much less that all of 
them are, as Ra monca gorla ga cmalo (All mountain gorillas are small') would claim. The 
universal guantifier ra will be taken up in Sections 4.23 and 4.24. 

Lea preda designates, for any preda, the non-empty set of all the predas. It is universal, not 
intentional. Like leu, its designatum is always a set, not the members of some set. Unlike leu, it 
means 'the set of all (predas)'. 

(3) Lea ficli ga laldo lea mamla Fishes are older than mammals. 


Certainly we would not mean to claim by this English sentence that every fish is older than every 
mammal, or even that any individual fish is. We could only sensibly mean that the non-empty set 

of fishes has endured longer, i.e., has had members in it longer (on this planet anyway), than the 
non-empty set of mammals. 

In Loglan we wish to make these ideas clear.— 

4.21 Numbers 

One of the cleverer things we do with language is to apply numbers to arguments. Thus when I 
say in English 'Those ten men are teachers' I have said something that is strictly eguivalent to 
looking at each of them in turn and saying 'That man is a teacher' ten times. But this is not the 
only way in which numbers may be used. Numerical concepts may also occur as predicates (for 
example 'We are three', 'It was a football eleven', 'He was first in line'), as proper nouns (The 
number three', The year 1937'), and also as indefinite descriptors ('I saw three men', 'One of the 
teachers smoked'). We will provide for all these uses in due course. But we must first supply the 
basic number words themselves. Here are the digits from zero to nine: 

ni (zero) fe 5 (five) 

ne 1 (one) so 6 (six) 

to 2 (two) se 7 (seven) 

te 3 (three) vo 8 (eight) 

fo 4 (four) ve 9 (nine) 

There are some obvious regularities. First, note that the digits are divided into five pairs and that 
each pair has a characteristic consonant: n t f s v. Second, note that the odd- numbered member 
of each pair (ne, te, fe, se and ve) ends with e. Third, note that all the even-numbered digits 
except ni, that is, to, fo, so and vo, end with o. The word ni (zero) is evidently the one irregular 
word in the system. But this makes sense. Zero is the sign of the re-cycling of the system with 
every tenth member and so ought to be different. Thus 'ten' is neni (10), 'twenty' is toni (20), 
'thirty' is teni (30) and so on; but 'twelve' is simply neto (12) and 'one-hundred-and-twenty-three' 
is simply netote (123).— 

For larger numbers there are two extra "zeros", as we might call them: ma ( 0) which represents 
multiplication by a hundred, or the double zero ('00') in English; and mo (0) which represents 
multiplication by a thousand, or the English triple zero ( '000') . Thus 'one- hundred' is nema ( 1 0) 
in Loglan, 'a thousand' is nemo (Is), 'two-thousand' is tomo (20), 'twenty-thousand' is tonimo 
(200), 'two-hundred- thousand' is tomamo (2 00), 'two million' is tomomo (200), and so on. 
Normally, compound number words, like compound little words generally, receive level stress. 
Thus [toh-mah-mah-HOOM-nee] and [veh-moh-moh-HOOM-nee] are the usual pronunciations 
of the Loglan phrases corresponding to 'two-hundred-thousand humans' (tomama humni) and 
'nine- million humans' (vemomo humni), respectively, in which there are no pauses and in which 
only the penultimate syllable of the predicate word is stressed. On the other hand, any syllable in 
a number word may be emphasized to mark contrast: [TEH-veh-moh-moh-KAHT-mah] 'thirty- 
nine- million cats'. Such emphasis is often shown by underlining the emphasized syllable in text: 
tevemomo katma. 

To round out the number system, the little word pi represents the decimal point so that 'point- 
five' is pife (.5) and 'twelve and thirty-four hundredths' is simply the compound word netopitefo 
[neh-toh-pee-teh-foh] (12.34). Similarly, there is a set of arithmetic operators of which kua 
[kwah] ('divided by'), tia [tyah] ('multiplied by 1 ), piu [pyoo] ('plus'), niu [nyoo] ('less'), pea 
[peigh-ah] ('positive') and nea [neigh-ah] ('negative') are the most useful. (The complete set of 
mathematical operators will be found in Loglan 6.) So nekuato [neh-kwah- toh] (1/2) is 'one- 
half. What could be simpler? Let us now consider the uses of these number- words as argument 

4.22 Quantified Arguments 

Quantification is the art of applying numbers to arguments. Sentences with guantified arguments, 
or, as we shall sometimes call them, plural sentences, are eguivalent in meaning to those same 
sentences without guantified arguments (singular sentences) repeated n times; and the number of 
repetitions n is always egual to the product of the numbers used as guantifiers in the original 
sentence. Thus if I say: 

(1) Levi to fumna ga corta leva ne mrenu These two women are both 

shorter than that one man. 

what I have said is eguivalent in meaning to the singular sentence, 

(2) Levi fumna ga corta leva mrenu This woman is shorter than that 


spoken twice. But if I say 

(3) Levi to fumna ga corta leva te mrenu These two women are (all) shorter 

than (each of) these three men. 

then what I have said is eguivalent to speaking sentence (2) six times. 

There are several things to notice about this. First, there is evidently no plural form of the Loglan 
descriptors levi and leva, and no plural inflection of the Loglan predicate. For with levi to fumna 
we are evidently not literally saying 'these two women', but 'this two woman'. Again, Loglan 
sounds like pidgin. There is a logical advantage as well as an obvious simplicity in this 
grammatical plan. For it reveals more clearly than English does what the claim of such plural 
sentences is about. For note that the eguivalently repeated sentence- sentence (2) above- is 
identical to both ( 1 ) and (3) except for the presence in the latter two of the number words. 
Second, the meaning of the Loglan guantifier evidently includes the meaning of such occasional 
clarifying phrases in English as 'each of, 'all', 'both', and so on. We will see why this is so in a 
moment. Finally, note that the two things designated by the guantifying phrase levi to in (1) and 
(3) are definitely designated. For suppose I had said: 

(4) To levi fumna ga corta ne leva mrenu Two of these women are shorter 

than one of those men. 

(5) To levi fumna ga corta te leva mrenu Two of these women are shorter 

than (some) three of those men. 

Notice that if any two of the women designated in (4) are each shorter than some one of those 
men, then (4) is true. And if there exists a pair of women and a trio of men belonging to the two 
sets designated in (5), such that each woman of the pair is shorter than each man of the trio, then 
that sentence is true. We will have a look at the mechanism of indefinite guantification more 
closely in Section 4.24 on indefinite description. 

Just as in English, the indefinite quantification of an argument may be freely alternated with its 
definite quantification. Thus, the following forms are all possible. 

(6) Le te fumna (Each of) The (set of) three 

women (I have in mind). 

(7) Te le fumna (Some) Three of the (set of) 

women (I have in mind). 

(8) To le te fumna (Some) Two of the (set of) three 


(9) Le to le fumna (Each of) The (subset of) two of 

the (set of) women. 

( 10) Le to le te fumna (Each of) The (subset of) two of 

the (set of) three women. 

And so on. Note that in these sentences le has the sense of the English phrase 'the set of, whether 
we are then told how many members the set has (as in Le te fumna), or not (as in To le fumna). 
Thus when we say To le fumna it is assumed that there are enough women in the set to yield at 
least two. Again we need no plural inflection of the predicate word to make this idea clear. 

So far we have been concerned with guantifications of descriptions made with the particular 
descriptive operators le, levi and leva. But now let us consider the effects of guantifying 
descriptions made with the mass operator lo. As usual, we will approach our problem obliguely 
by first considering an English ambiguity. Suppose I tell you: 

( 1 1 ) The two men carried that log. 

The guestion immediately arises: Together? Or separately? It makes a difference. For if I mean 
that a team of two men has carried that log, I have asserted only one thing, namely that a single 
individual thing-albeit two-headed-carried that log. But if there had been a log-carrying contest, 
say, and each of two men succeeded in carrying that particular log, then I am, in effect, asserting 
two things when I say "they" carried it. Namely, that one of them did, and that the other of them 
did, too, presumably on different occasions. 

Now the second of these interpretations is ; as we have seen, exactly the meaning of the Loglan 
quantification with le. Thus, 

( 12) Le to mrenu pa berti da Each of the two men carried it. 


expresses the notion of two successful occasions exactly. For this is indeed the sentence form 
that is equivalent to itself without to spoken two times. And now, just as you might expect, the 
sense of the two-headed individual having carried the log is neatly accomplished with lo: 

(13) Lo to mrenu pa berti da The mass individual composed of 

two men carried it. 

This parallel use of le and lo with quantifiers completely avoids the major source of ambiguity in 
the use of numbers in English. Suppose we say The two men went to London.' Did they go as a 
group, or separately? The English sentence doesn't say. The four women played bridge. 1 Are you 
saying four things? Or only one? The English sentence doesn't say, though in this case, we would 
usually guess from context that the best Loglan translation was to be made with lo. 

Thus whenever a number of individuals are involved in such a way that they function together as 
a group, then the Loglan translation will usually be made with lo. But wherever sets of 
individuals are involved in such a way that we have something to say about each individual 
member of the set, then the Loglan designation will usually be made with le. The ambiguity of 
the English quantified form The two men carried it' can of course be resolved in English by the 
use of such qualifying phrases as 'each of, 'separately', 'together', 'as a group', and so on. But 
such maneuvers are not necessary in order to speak clearly in Loglan. Thus le to mrenu means 
'each of the two men' without further qualification, and lo to mrenu means 'the two-man group' 
and not really 'the two men' at all. Again we find that Loglan makes a logical distinction clearly 
and explicitly that is implicit in English, but obscurely and irregularly handled in that language. 

4.23 Non-Numerical Quantifiers 

The Loglan words meaning 'all', 'some', 'many', and the like are used grammatically in exactly 
the same ways that the Loglan numerical quantifiers are used. Eight of these non-numerical 
quantifiers are presently defined: 

r a all, every, each of 

ro much, many of 

re most, more than half of 

ri little, several, a few of 

ru enough, a sufficient number of 

sa about, around, almost all of 

su some, at least, at least one of 

si at most up to ; at most one of 

The five r-words may be used in place of numbers, but they may not be used next to a number 
word. Thus one does not say 'All three of the men' in Loglan (*Ra te le mrenu), simply because 
Te le mrenu already means all of some three of the men. Similarly Ra le te mrenu ('All of the 
three men') is acceptable but redundant because Le te mrenu already means 'Each of the three 
men'. So the quantifier ra does not often accompany Loglan descriptions, being implicitly 
present in nearly all of them. But Ri le se mrenu ('Several of the seven men'), Lo ro mrenu 
(The mass individual composed of many men'), and Re le ro mrenu ('Most of the many men'), 
are all useful forms. On the other hand, each of the three s-words sa, su and si may be usefully 
prefixed to numbers. When they are, they become part of a compound number word, as in the 
following sentences: 

(1) Sanema le mrenu pa kamla About a hundred of the men 

/saneMA leM RE nupaK A M la/ 

(2) Suto le fumna pa ditca At least two of the women were 

/suTO leFUM napaD ITca/ 

(3) Si've le botci pa kamla le sitci At most nine of the boys came 

from the city. 

But sa, su and si may also be used like r-words in place of numbers. When they are used alone in 
this way, they are always abbreviations of longer expressions. Thus sa alone means sara ('almost 
all'), su alone means sune ('at least one' or 'some'), while si alone means sine ('at most one' or 
'one or none'). For example: 

(4) Su le mrenu pa turka Some of the men were workers 

(that is, at least one of the men 
was a worker). 


(5) Sa le nirli pa godzi lo ckela Almost all of the girls went to 


(6) Si le fumna pa merji At most one of the women was 


When ro and ri are used with particular descriptions, they mean 'many' and 'a few' or 'several'. 

(7) Ro le mrenu pa no turka Many of the men were non- 



(8) Ri le mrenu pa kamla la Italias Several of the men came from 


But when these same words are used with mass descriptions, they must be prefixed by pi- to turn 
them into fractional quantifiers. In this form they mean 'much' and 'a little': 

(9) Piro lovi batra ga no nu titci Much of the butter here is not 


(10) Piri lo kolme ga nu titci A little (of the mass of all) coal is 


Similarly, pira lo humni means (redundantly) 'all of mankind', pire lo humni means 'the major 
portion of mankind', and of course, piru lo humni means 'enough of mankind'.— 

Y ou will encounter no particular difficulty in understanding constructions made with the non- 
numerical quantifiers. And constructing them is scarcely more difficult. 

4.24 Indefinite Description 

Indefinite descriptions are made in Loglan by putting either a numerical or a non- numerical 
quantifier in front of a predicate expression. No other descriptive operator is involved. For 
example, N e m renu = 'One man', as in 

(1) Ne mrenu pa kamla (Exactly) One man came. 


is such an indefinite description. What descriptions of this sort usually do, in both languages, is 
tell the listener that the described individuals are hard to find. This is a useful move for the 
speaker to make when information about how to locate them would be difficult or impossible to 
provide. In languages like English which have "indefinite articles" ('a' and 'an')-not all do; for 
example Russian doesn't-those articles are always among the words used to form its indefinite 
descriptions; but these always include the number words and certain other quantifiers like 
English 'all' and 'some' as well. To the best of my knowledge, all languages have indefinite 
descriptions of some kind. 

A typical English use of indefinite description is in the sentence 'I just now saw one man in the 
street' as this might be spoken by someone looking out a window. The observer is apparently 
quite definite about da's seeing what da takes to be a man. Da is also definite about the number 
of men da sees: exactly one. But we may infer from da's choice of the indefinite form 'one man' 
over the definite form 'the man' that da is quite unable to identify the man da has just seen. Da 
could not, we feel confident, give us the address of that man, or his name, or indeed any other 

locating details. So by the usual rules of the designating game, no designation is really going on 
here. There is guantification (the number 'one') and there is description (the predicate 'man'). But 
there is no designation. The speaker is evidently guite unable (or unwilling.. .it amounts to the 
same thing) to help the listener locate the individual this sentence is about. It is for this reason 
that we call such structures indefinite descriptions. They describe but do not designate. 

In Loglan we form indefinite descriptions in exactly the same way as English does: 

(2) Mipazivizkanemrenuletrida I just saw exactly one man in (i.e., 

against the background of) the 
/mipaziV IZkaneM REnuleTRIda/ 

The reader may perhaps remember from Chapter 3 that to see something in Loglan is to relate 
the seer, the seen thing, and the background against which it is seen. 

Any guantifier may be used as an indefinite descriptor: 

(3) Su sagro smabru pa hijri A(t least one) cigar smoker 

(smoke-breather) was here. 

/suSA G roSM A brupaHIJ ri/ 

Cigar smoke in the room, perhaps? Another way of translating su in (3) would be to say 'Some 
cigar smokers were here.' In Loglan we might even prefer to use a mass-term and say Lo sagro 
smabru pa hijri ('Cigar-smokers were here'). The next sentence is more specific: 

(4) Sunema sagro smabru pa hijri (At least) a hundred cigar 

smokers were here. 

Lots of cigar smoke, obviously. ..or a speaker given to exaggeration. 

Finally, we come to that most mysterious of all indefinite descriptions, the one that is so vast that 
it becomes nearly definite, namely the one made with 'all' in English and ra in Loglan: 

(5) Ra humni ga razdou [rahz-DOH-oo] All humans reason (i.e., give 

/raHUM nigarazD Ou/ 

We will see in Section 4.28 on the non- designating variables how there are other, logically more 
manipulable ways of saying (5). But for the moment let us simply note that the grammatical 
structure of (5) reflects by far the most common way of expressing universal claims in natural 
language. Indeed, what (5) claims is clear enough but rather reckless, namely that there isn't a 
human being anywhere who doesn't, in appropriate circumstances, give reasons. 

More realistically we might claim 

(6) Sa humni ga razdou Almost all humans reason. 

/saHUM nigarazD Ou/ 

always a safer claim; or even 

(7) Ro humni ga razdou Many humans reason. 

/roHUM nigarazD Ou/ 

And we would be doing so with an indefinite description in each case.— 

4.25 Numerical Predicates with -ra and -ri 

The three final uses of numbers in language are as predicates ('We were three'), as numerical 
descriptions ('She loved the number three'), and as names ('He came at three'.). We will deal with 
numerical predicates in this section, with numerical descriptions in the next, and with numerical 
names in the one after that. This will conclude our discussion of numbers... which cut a fairly 
wide swath through the language. 

If we say 'It was a football eleven', 'We made a foursome at golf, or 'Those are five-gallon cans', 
it is clear that we are using numbers, not to guantify arguments, but to predicate numerical 
properties of things. In English we use the same words to guantify arguments (The five men 
came') as we use within descriptions (Those are five-gallon cans') and this leads to a widespread 
class of ambiguities, e.g., 'Bring me those five gallon cans.' We must obviously design such 
ambiguities out of Loglan. Moreover, since numbers used as predicates are predicates, and 
therefore participate in the whole grammar of predicates, it is clear that we would introduce an 
unfortunate inconsistency into the morphology of the language if we decided to use the two-letter 
number words, which are among the shortest of the operators, as predicate words. For both these 
reasons, then, numerical predicates are formed in Loglan by adding suffixes to number words. 

The first series of numerical predicates are the cardinal predicates. These are formed by adding 
the suffix -ra to any number word. Thus 'onesome', 'twosome', 'threesome', and so on-or, 
alternatively, 'monad', 'dyad', 'triad', etc.-are simply nera, tora, tera, and so on, in Loglan.— The 
Loglan words are used exactly like any other predicate words: 

( 1 ) Mu tera We are three (that is, a 


(2) Ta fera galno M veslo That's a five-gallon can (i.e., a 

fivesome gallon container). 


(3) Da pa futbo nenera X was a football eleven. 


Thus the cardinal predicates may be used alone, as in (1); they may modify other predicates, as 
in (2); and they may be modified by other predicates, as in (3). No particular difficulty attends 
the use of these words. They are obviously one-place predicates; they may be used in particular 
descriptions (le fora = 'the foursome'), or in mass descriptions (lo tora = 'pairs', that is, 'all the 
twosomes there are'); and they may even figure in abstract descriptions. For example, lopu tera 
means 'threeness', or the property that all threesomes share. Obviously, there is an infinite 
number of such abstract individuals. They may, in fact, be nothing more than the abstract 
creatures called numbers themselves. 

Like all predicates, the numerical predicates are stressed penultimately. This means that their 
front-ends must be protected from accidentally absorbing whatever number words may precede 
them. How do we say 'Bring me those five five-gallon cans' in Loglan? And do so in such a way 
that our listeners will know that we don't want the fifty- five- gallon cans? The answer is simple. 
We pause in the first case, and scrupulously fail to pause in the second. (After all, fefera = 'fifty- 
five-some' is a single word; and we know that pausing inside a word can sometimes be 
misinforming.) These are the two utterances we seek: 

(4) Kambei mi leva fe, fera galno veslo Bring me those five five-gallon 


(5) Kambei mi leva fefera galno veslo Bring me those fifty- five- gallon 


Note that it is clarifying to stress the last syllable before the crucial pause in (4). The stress 
needn't be emphatic; but there should be at least a slight rise in the stress contour immediately 
before the pause. Whether one uses a comma (,) or not to mark these obligatory pause in text is 

The second class of numerical predicates are the ordinal predicates like 'first', 'second', 'third', 
and so on, in English. These are the predicates which describe the positions of things in ordered 
series. In Loglan they are formed with the suffix -ri: neri, tori and teri, and so on.— Like the 
cardinals, the ordinal predicates are handled grammatically like all other predicates; and like 
them, too, they have initial stress. Unlike the cardinals, the ordinals are two-place forms: 

(6) La Djan, pa neri John was first. 


(7) Da pa neri lepo prano He was first in the race (that is, in 

the running). 


(8) Mi pa neniri le clina I was tenth in the line. 


For obviously, if one is to be tenth in something, there must be something to be tenth in. Perhaps 
not guite so obviously, that something must be a series long enough to have ten members. This 

consideration, incidentally, shows that there are not only an infinite number of ordinal predicates, 
but also an infinite number of converse ordinal predicates of the following form: 

(9) Da nu neniri X is a series with ten or more 


(10) Da nu teri la Djan X is a series in which John is 


Now there is no reason why we cannot also apply the suffixes -ra and -ri to the non-numerical 
quantifiers of the preceding section and produce even more of these predicates. Thus Da rara 
means that X is literally everything (that is, an "allsome"); Da rora, that it has many members (a 
"manysome"); Da sura, that it has at least one member (a "somesome"); and so on. The non- 
numerical ordinals are even more interesting. For example, Da rari must mean that X is the last 
member in some series, for literally it is the "allth" member. We can also talk in Loglan of the 
"manyth" member (Da rori), and even of the "fewth" member (Da riri); for nothing prevents our 
extending the ordinal ideas of Loglan in this curious direction, too. Again, in the effort to 
accommodate the natural languages, we have overshot them. And if someone asks you (in 
Loglan) if your position in the movie queue is close enough to the box office to make success 
probable, you have the splendid opportunity to reply laconically: 

( 1 1 ) M i ruri I am " enoughth" . 


Apart from these curiosities, there are a great many quite ordinary English expressions that can 
be translated into numerical predicates with great directness. A 'big group', for example, is 
simply a set with many members, that is, a 'manysome' or rora. A 'little group' is clearly one 
with few members, that is, a 'fewsome' or rira. 

Note that ordinals, too, are penultimately stressed. 

4.26 Numerical Description with lio 

Sometimes one wishes to separate a number from the designation that it might be used to 
quantify and talk about it separately. For example, instead of talking about sixteen apples (neso 
pligo) one might wish to say that "the number of apples" in some set is sixteen. In such styles of 
speech the number sixteen itself requires to be designated. In Loglan we do this with the 
numerical descriptor lio ([lee-oh] or [lee-OH]). It means 'the number...'. The predicate konte 
means 'is the count of...'. So we may say 

( 1 ) Le pligo ga nu konte lio neso The apples have a count of 



Or more directly, 

(2) Lio neso konte le pligo Sixteen is the count of the apples. 


Lio may operate on any quantifier, indeed on any mathematical expression. Thus Lio to and Lio 
sokuate (The number two' and The number six divided by three') designate the same individual. 
We know this because we know that a true identity sentence can be set up between them: 

(3) Lio to bi lio sokuate The number two is identical to the 

number six-divided-by-three. 

(There is more on identity sentences in Chapter 5.) Notice that the whole numerical description 
made with lio is penultimately stressed. Thus the phrase lio to is stressed as [lee-OH-toh] or, 
phonemically, /liOto/, while the longer phrase lio sokuate is stressed as /liosoKUAte/ with level 
stress on lio. It is as if the descriptor lio were a prefix that attached itself to the number word and 
the compound word so formed were then required to be penultimately stressed. This makes 
sense. Numerical descriptions may be indefinitely long. But they must not be allowed to absorb 
the quantifers that happen to follow them. Penultimate stress reckoned over the whole of such 
expressions allows their endings to be uniquely determined; and of course the lio-segment itself 
marks their beginnings. 

The two descriptions equated in (3) designate the same individual, namely the number two. 
Which designation we choose to use in any given case will be governed by the same kinds of 
considerations- about what the listener may be expected to know, what will be useful to da, and 
so on- as governs our choice between La Djan and La Djek, or between Leva mrenu and Leva 
fumna in the sentence L eva fumna pa mrenu. In short, that there are many names for the same 
number should give us no pause. 

In English translation, the word lio has roughly the sense of the phrase 'the number' in such 
sentences as The number one trillion is hard to think about.' But notice that the phrase The 
number...' is not obligatory in such sentences in English. One may also say 'One trillion is hard to 
think about' with approximately the same effect.. .although perhaps in the latter case one is 
tempted to ask 'One trillion what?'. It is not at all clear that it is the number one trillion that is 
designated in the second sentence. 

In any case, lio is obligatory in similar sentences in Loglan. Saying Fo kurnuu /fokurNUu/ 
without it-kurnuu means 'is a square number'- will not convey what you intended if what you 
intended to say is that the number four is a square. What you have actually said is a designation, 
an argument without a predicate such as might be the answer to a question. Fo kurnuu could be 
translated correctly, if laboriously, into 'some four instances of the set of square numbers', or 
more neatly 'four squares'. So it is important to say lio in Loglan when you mean it. 

Another kind of ambiguity that is resolved by lio is illustrated by the following pair of sentences: 

(4) Da cmalo X is small. 


(5) Lio da cmalo The number X is small. 


In (5) the variable da is used mathematically; that is, Lio da is the designation of a number 
whose identity is (usually) unknown. Perhaps all we know about it is that it is small. But in (4) 
the argument da may designate anything the speaker wishes to designate... including a number. 
One may also use letter variables as the operands of lio-descriptions. For example, lio b - 
pronounced [lee-OH-bay]-means 'the number b'. 

Another important use of lio is in connection with the scalar predicates. These are the words in 
every modern language that name the units of our numerous measurement scales. Some 
examples are dalra ('is a dollar/be worth.. .dollarts)'), metro ('is a meter/be... meterts) long') ; 
gramo ('is a gram/weigh... gram(s)') ; and we have already encountered galno ('is a 
gallon/be.. .gallon(s) in volume'). The "default" value of the argument in the second place of all 
scalar predicates is lio ne /liOne/, that is ; 'the number one'. Thus Ti dalra is short for Ti dalra lio 
ne /tiDALraliOne/ and means 'That's a dollar' or 'That's worth a dollar', or in literal translation- 
which is always worth trying to figure out for each new usage you encounter-Ti dalra means 
'This is worth in dollars exactly one'.. .a dollar-bill, perhaps. Similarly, Ta gramo means 'That's a 
gram' or, literally, This weighs in grams exactly one'.. .a one-gram weight, almost certainly. 
(Hardly anything else comes out that neatly! !) 

But if, now, we wish to say that something that we have weighed with some care weighs 33.1 
milligrams, say, description with lio is available to help us do it: Ti milgramo lio tetepine 
/timilGRAmo.liotetePINe/, or, in the abbreviated textual style we prefer for numerical 
expressions in both English and Loglan, Ti milgramo lio 33.1. The second expression is, of 
course, read aloud in exactly the same way as the first. And remember that stress remains 
determinedly penultimate in lio-descriptions whether it falls on a decimal point or not. 

The affix mil- in the scalar predicate milgramo comes from milti 'is a thousandth part of...'. 
Milti is one of a series of multiplier predicates, which includes piktl nanti, mikti centi, and 
decti on the small side, and dekto, hekto, kilto, mirdo, megdo and gigdo on the large side. 
These provide Loglan renderings of the familiar scientific measurement affixes: pik- ('pico-'), 
nan- ('nano-'), mik- ('micro-'), mil- ('milli-'), cen- [shen-] ('centi-'), dec- [desh-] ('deer-') as well 
as the ascending series dek- ('deka-' or 'deca'), hek- ('hekt(o)-'or 'hect(o)-'), kil- ('kilo-'), mir- 
('myri(a)-'), meg- ('mega-') and gig- Cgiga-'). So Loglandia, too, can eventually learn to spend its 
gigdalra. The multiplier predicates themselves predicate metrical properties of individuals or 
sets. Thus, if I say Da gigdo de di, I am saying that X is a billion times bigger than, or more 
than, Y on dimension Z. If Z is not mentioned, it is usually assumed that the dimension is 
numerical; that is, that set X has a billion times more members than set Y . Similarly, Da nanti 
de di says that X is a billionth part of Y on dimension Z.. .whence De gigdo da di. In short, nanti 
= nu gigdo; decti = nu dekto; and so on. 

There is another, sometimes more convenient, way of talking about numerical facts than using 
either scalar or multiplier predicates; and this reguires another kind of predicate, the dimension 

predicate. Fewer than the scalar predicates but more commonly used, they are the words for the 
various dimensions humans have so far succeeded in measuring. Examples are langa [LANG- 
gah] ('is longer than.. .by amount...'), laldo [LAHL-doh] ('is older than.. .by amount...'), tidjo ('is 
heavier than.. .by amount...'), nerji [NEHR-zhee] ('has more energy than.. .by amount...'), and so 
on. Notice that, when specified, the third arguments of all these dimension predicates will be 
designations of amounts. To be meaningful, these amounts must, of course, be expressed in units 
appropriate to that particular dimension, that is, they must be dimensioned numbers. For 
example, 'three inches' is a dimensioned number in English, which, when properly expressed in 
Loglan, might be used with the predicate langa. In another example, '33.0 eg', which we would 
read aloud in English as 'thirty-three- point- zero centigrams', might be suitable for use with tidjo; 
and 700 MY A' which, if we know what the English letters stand for, we would read aloud as 
'seven- hundred- million years ago', might be appropriate to one of the many scales on which lopu 
laldo is measured. Loglan, too, has a full array of dimensioned numbers. The ingredients from 
which they are made will be found in Appendices A, B and D . 

With both dimension predicates and dimensioned numbers we can now make guantitative 
comparisons. Suppose that brass object over there is a standard 5-kilogram weight. Suppose this 
sack of flour weighs 8.1kg. Then we can say 

(6) Ti tidjo ta lio 3.1kg This is heavier than that by 3.1 

/tiTIDjoTA .liotepineKEIgei/ 

Lio 3.1kg is, of course, the Loglan designation of the international dimensioned number 3.1 kg, a 
designation which could be translated literally as 'the number 3.1 kg'. We might think that the 
numerical part of the Loglan expression was just another instance of the familiar Loglan 
guantifier, but in fact the expressions 3.1kg and 3 have exactly the same grammatical privileges 
in Loglan. Both may be preceded by lio. Both may function as guantifiers. Thus we may speak of 
3.1kg sulfo ('3.1 kg of sulfur') as readily as we may speak of 3 sulfo ('3 sulfurs', three lumps of 
sulfur, perhaps?), and of course a good deal more precisely. For example, we may now say 

(7) Nensea [nen-SEIGH-ah] 3.1kg sulfo Put in (in-set) 3.1 kg of sulfur 

(any 3.1 kilograms). 

just as we may still say 

(8) Nensea 3 sulfo Put in three sulfurs (any three 

lumps, handfuls, etc.). 

more roughly and with the same construction we may use to say 

(9) Ridle te bukcu Read 3 books (any 3 books). 


With the dimensioned numbers we reach the level of precision required by science. Y et no 
grammatical novelties are afoot here. Sentences (6) through (9) have exactly the same 
grammatical structure. Evidently a Loglan quantifier may be any mathematical expression 

Let's now look at the dimension part of dimensioned numbers. The kg part of the expression 
3.1kg stands for the pair of letter-words keigei [kay-gay]. These are the words for the lower-case 
Latin letterals that constitute the Loglan, as well as the international, symbol for this unit of 
measurement the kilogram. The Loglan scalar predicate for this unit is kilgramo as it might be 
used in Ti kilgramo, 'This weighs a kilogram.' The word is derived from kilto gramo = 
'thousandfold-gram', with obvious affinities with English and French 'kilogram(me)', Spanish 
'kilogramo', Italian 'chilogramma', and so on. But when loglanists read the written expression 
3.1kg aloud, they will read it, not as tepine kilgramo on a misleading analogy with the English 
'three- point- one kilograms', but as the compound little word tepinekeigei /tepineKEIgei/; and 
this spoken word may always be generated simply by reading the individual numerals and 
letterals in the textual expression aloud. It is just as if we read '3.1kg' aloud as 'three- point-one- 
kay-gee' in English. We don't but could, and in Loglan we do. 

Tepine kilgramo does mean something, of course, but not 'three- point-one kilograms'. It means 
'(any) three- point-one things that weigh one kilogram each'. There are contexts in which this 
curious designation might be useful. In any European supermarket, for example, there are many 
things that weigh (approximately) 1 kilogram. Any 3.1 of them would satisfy this designation. 

The utility of comparative measurements like (6) is fairly limited, however. More frequently we 
wish to say that this single object in our hand, for example, weighs 30 grams, or is 5 inches long, 
or is probably 37,000 +/- 500 years old, without comparing it to anything else. In short, we wish 
to report our measurement of it directly. There is a third group of predicates that enable us to do 
that, namely the measurement predicates. These are all complex predicates made by attaching 
mel- or mely-, a prefix derived from merli = '(to) measure.. .to be.. .on scale...', to some 
dimension predicate like tidjo, langa or laldo. For example, melylanga [mel-uh-LAHNG-gah] 
means ' measured-in-length to be...'. 

(10) Ta melylanga lio 5i [lee-oh-feh . EE- That is 5 in (5 inches) long, 

/tamely LA NG a.liof e.Isi/ 

The letter word isi, being the pronunciation of the letteral i and vowel- initial, requires the briefest 
of pauses-usually a glottal stop- between it and the preceding number word. The letteral i is the 
symbol assigned to the scalar predicate inca [EEN-shah], an obvious borrowing. We might 
translate (10) more exactly as 'That measures- in-length the-number five- inches.' Here's another 
measurement statement: 

(11) Ti meltidjo lio 30g This weighs 30 g (30 grams). 


Phrase for word, such a sentence might be translated 'This measures- in- weight the- number thirty- 
grams.' It is good to "loglanize" one's English in this way from time to time. 

(12) Ta melylaldo lio 37a ± 5on That measures- in- age 37,000 ± 

500y (years). 

The expression piuceniu [pyoo-sheh-nyooo] means 'plus-and-minus' and translates English 
'plus-or-minus'; the Loglan connective is the correct one because it defines a range. 

The Loglan scalar predicate for 'year', or rather for 'lasted... years', is nirne. So the international 
unit for years is represented in Loglan by the symbol n (read [nay]). Note from the pronunciation 
of (12) that pauses may be optionally introduced into a numerical description. They may occur at 
any point between its head-mark /lio/ and its stressed penult, in this case /MA/. This is because 
the appearance of the head-mark ultimately followed by a stressed vowel is sufficient to resolve 
such strings uniguely no matter how many pauses occur between them. 

But even forms like (10)-(12) are of limited utility. In fact, they are chiefly useful for translation 
from the natural languages. This is because the eguivalent forms made with the simple scalar 

(13) Ti inca lio 5 This is in inches 5. 


(14) Ti gramo lio 30 This is in grams 30. 


(15) Ti nirne lio 37o ±5e This is in years 37,000 ±500. 


are much more economical in Loglan, and in both writing and speech. They are apparently the 
most natural way of reporting measurements in Loglan. Indeed, they have a uniguely 
Loglandical air, since the order of the semantic elements- designation, scale, number (This inch 
five') -is guite unlike that of any other language.— 

Expressions like (13)-(15) lead readily to further descriptions: 

( 16) Le nirne je lio neni The years of the number ten (the 

ten-year interval). 

And this same idea may be entirely differently expressed as 

( 1 7) Le nirne nenira The year-tensome (the ten-some 

made of years). 

Again Loglan gives options to its speakers and scope to their inventions.— 

4.27 Numerical Names 

The last class of number words need not detain us long. These are the names of the objects we 
sometimes wish to hail by their numerical properties. Y ears are such objects; times of day; 
musical compositions (The Beethoven Quartet') and groups (The Dreadful Dozen'); and last but 
certainly not least those abstract creatures called numbers themselves. 

All such objects are very simply named in Loglan. As suggested in Section 4.19 , we may always 
make a name from a little word or little-word compound by adding the suffix -n. Thus Nen, Ton ; 
Fon, etc., form an infinite class of names which may then be used exactly as the name-words 
Djan, Pit Bab and Kat, Kan, Rat and Far are used. If you want to talk to something with a 
numerical name, you may address it by using that name vocatively ('Oh 1988, how cruel you 
have been!'). But more freguently, you will want to talk about these things, and this reguires the 
use of the name operator la. Thus la Ten may be used to designate the number three, the local 
musical trio, three in the afternoon, or anything else that has three parts or members. For it may 
serve, of course-just as 'John' does-as the name of many things. Thus la Ten is often used in 
Loglan as the translation of 'three o'clock', and la Nevevoven /laneveVOven/ is one of the 
expressions you may use if you wanted to talk about, and not to, the year 1989. Normally, of 
course, polysyllabic names are penultimately stressed. 

The loglanist should remember, however, that anything that may be given a numerical name (la 
Nevevoven) may also be given a predicate name of roughly the same import by using one of the 
numerical predicates. Thus la Nevevoveri /laNEvevoVERi/ would mean '(the) Nineteen-Eighty- 
Ninth (Y ear)', and the Dreadful Dozen might be more mellifluously named la Nu Firpa Netora 
/lanuFIRpaneTORa/, using the technigues of Section 4.18 , than la Nufirp Neton 
/laNUfirp.NEton/, using those of 4.19 and this section. Mellifluousness may not be what is 
wanted here, however. 

But whatever is wanted, the Loglan name-coiner has many colors on da's pallette. 

428 Indirect Designation with lae and sae 

Occasionally we designate something by pointing to a sign or address of that thing. We say 
'Bring me 129' when what we really want is something with that number pasted on it or written 
next to its name on a list. This is indirect designation. We first designate something that can 
serve as a sign of something else-a label or a title or an address, or a bit of smoke in the room- 
and then indicate that it is the thing behind that label or title or bit of smoke that we really want 
to talk about. In English we can do this guite openly by saying 'Bring me the car with the number 
129 pasted on the windshield'; but we seldom bother. We content ourselves-as we often do in 
natural language- with saying something that we don't really mean, confident that the listener 
will understand that we mean something else. 

In Loglan we would like to do better than that. .especially as we will sometimes be talking to 
computers. So we have an indirect designator lae [lah-eh], and we use the argument- form lae X 
to designate anything of which X may be taken as a sign. X might be a designation of a street 
address, for example. In that case, lae X could be used as a designation of the "occupants" . X 
may be of any grammatical type whatever: a description, a guotation, a name, number, or even a 
variable. But whatever X points to directly must be something that can then be taken as a sign of 
what the speaker really means to designate. 

Here are some examples: 

(1) Kambei mi laeliegei, War and Peace, Bring me 'War and Peace', 

/KAMbeimi.laeliEgei. War and Peace .gei/ 

The English speaker isn't really saying what da means, of course, and would be disconcerted- 
perhaps even vastly annoyed- -if handed a slip of paper on which the words 'war and peace' had 
been guickly scribbled. The Loglan speaker is saying what de means, however, for de has, in 
effect, asked de's listener to look for something to which, or on which, the words 'War and Peace' 
will serve as some kind of sign-they will be printed in gold letters on its cover, perhaps-and to 
bring de that thing, please. 

In the next few sentences we're going to need the predicate for 'tell' or 'inform', which is 
"knowledge-give" in Loglan, or djadou [jah-DOH-oo] from djano donsu. 

(2) Djadou mi laelepo tu crano Tell me about (whatever is 

behind) your smile, 
/dj aD Oumi.laelepotuC RA no/ 

What the English speaker has said outside the parentheses is Tell me about your smile.'.. .which 
is pretty vague. In Loglan this vague enguiry would be conveyed by speaking (2) without lae, or 
Djadou mi lepo tu crano = 'Inform me (give me knowledge) about your smile.' What the 
English parenthetic clause and the Loglan lae operator both convey, however, is that the speaker 
wants to know what the listener's smile is a sign of. In short, what invisible thing is going on 
inside the listener of which di's smile is possibly the only outward sign. 

(3) Mi danza lepo helba laelevi racbao I wish to help whoever this 
[RAHSH-bough] suitcase (travel- box) is a sign of. 


The English translation of (3) is really guite odd. An English speaker would more often say 'I 
wish to help whoever owns this suitcase.' But the Loglan speaker has evidently seen the suitcase 
as a sign of someone da is looking for. This someone is evidently someone whom da believes 
will need da's help.. .perhaps someone da has been sent to meet and transport somewhere else. So 
da speaks to that unknown someone de by broadcasting a message in which da designates de 

indirectly through de's suitcase.. .now sitting at da's feet. 'I wish to help whoever's "address" is 
this suitcase.' 

A final example of a lae- designation. 

(4) Djadou mi lae tu Tell me about whatever you are a 

sign of. 

This very Loglandical remark might be used by a speaker who saw something about the listener- 
-da's costume or uniform, perhaps-that served as a pointer to something else... something of 
which the listener might be a part: a military unit, for example, or a sports team. More explicitly 
we might say to such a person 'What does your presence mean?'. We don't know how to ask 
guestions yet in Loglan. (Questions and similar matters will be dealt with in Chapter 5.) But we 
do know how to say with djadou and lae Tell me of what you are a sign.' 

The operator sae works in the opposite direction from lae. It produces a designation of a sign of 
a thing from a designation of that thing. Thus if some Loglan expression X is a designation of 
something X , then sae X is a designation of some sign of X ...X 's name, for example, or a label, 
or the smoke trailing behind X as X passes. Thus 

(5) Mi sutsae [soot-SAH-eh] sae da I smell (odor-sense) a sign or 

signs of X . 

differs subtly from Mi sutsae da ('I smell X ') in that the second version claims that X, not just 
some of X 's signs, has been perceived by me through smelling (odor- sensing). The claim of (5) is 
weaker; it says I smell things that could be signs of X . 

Perhaps the most common current use of sae is as an alternative means of designating human 
discourse. Language, after all, is made up of signs. Thus, one may say 

(6) Da pa cutse sae lepo de pa hijri X said, in effect, that Y was 

/dapaCUTse.saelePO .depaHIJri/ 

instead of the more usual 

(7) Da pa djacue QAH-shweh] lepo de pa X claimed (know-said) that Y was 
hijri present. 

/dapaDJ A cue.lepodepaHIJ ri/ 

Sentence (6) is more specific than (7). It says thatX spoke "signs", i.e., words, to this effect. 
Sentence (7) uses the complex predicate djacue (from djano cutse = 'know-say') to report that 
da claimed to know that someone else was present, that is, that that state- of- affairs obtained.— 

4.29 Pr edification with me 

Just as le and la turn predicates into arguments, so the little word me [meh] turns arguments into 
predicates. It "predifies" them. Like lae and sae ; me accepts any sort of argument as its operand. 
This includes names, descriptions, quotations, numbers.. .even variables. Usually, me- is prefixed 
to the arguments it predifies. Thus the cryptic 'That's me' as said by a speaker trying on a 
costume- in the sense of suiting da or expressing da-has an almost literal translation into 

(1) Tamemi That's me. 



(2) Tametu That's you. 


in the sense of being like you or characteristic of you, could be said by a knowing friend of a 
particular mannerism that you have. Take a third example. Suppose we want to use a proper 
name as a predicate, as in 'Einsteinian Relativity': 

(3) TamelaAinctain That's Einsteinian. 


or even 

(4) Ta mela Kraislr That's a Chrysler. 


Such predicates are vague.. .often intentionally. For me-predicates are often meant to be used 
until a literal predicate is built to do the same job. Probably (4) is short (in both languages) for 
the slightly more literal 

(5) Ta mela Kraislr, tcaro That's a Chrysler car. 


Letter variables also work as operands of me: 

(6) TameSai That's S-shaped. 


(7) Ti mejai korva ThisisaJ-curve. 


Sometimes me- predicates are used to express such fleeting notions that there would be no point 
in ever building literal predicates for them. Predified guotations are often instances of such 
ephemeral predications: 

(8) La Kan ; pa meli, Mi danza lepo hasfa Dog "I want to go home" looked 
godzi, lu bleka mi at me (i.e., gave me that "I want to 

go home" look). 

In this last sentence, the whole phrase meli, Mi danza lepo hasfa godzi, lu has been predified by 
its leading me, and the predicate it precedes and therefore modifies is the main predicate of the 
sentence bleka = 'looks at'. 

In English, we don't guite know what to make of such constructions.. .especially when we try to 
use them in text. Sometimes we hyphenate them ('He gave me that I- want-to-leave look'); 
sometimes we put them in a different style of guotation marks from the ones we use for ordinary 
speech ('She shot back a "Don't be silly!" frown'); and sometimes (in despair) we capitalize the 
initial letters of the principal words in the predified phrase to indicate that something special is 
afoot here but we don't guite know what: 'It was God Save the King week when we arrived in 

In Loglan, the predifier me always makes it clear what we are doing. We are turning these bits of 
copied or invented speech into predicates, and we are then free to use them in any way that other 
predicates might be used to get the job done. Often the semantic effect is pleasantly vague. But 
as mentioned above, we often make do with predified arguments because we don't know of any 
proper predicates with which to say what needs to be said. 

In sentence (8) a speaker might feel that the long predified term might be more conveniently 
spoken last. To put it last, da may invert the predicate string with go just as if the me-ed 
expression were a single predicate word: 

(9) La Kan, pa bleka je mi go meli, Mi Dog looked at me I-want-to-go- 
danza lepo hasfa godzi, lu home-ishly (i.e., in an "I want to 

go home" sort of way.) 

But to do this, notice that we must first link mi to bleka with je. This is because when a deferred 
modifier is to be linked to its modificand with go, the modificand must first be linked to all its 
(soon to become internal) arguments with je...jue... (See Section 4.12 ). Notice how linking with 
je advises the ear that an adverbial go-phrase is probably coming up. There is no other reason to 
link arguments to the main predicate of a sentence than that they are about to become internal. 

Finally, here's a me-expression that is applied to me itself: 

(10) Ba pa meliu me forma holdu le lengu There was (i.e., something was) a 

"me" -shaped hole in the 

After me was invented in 1978 many loglanists felt that way. How had we ever gotten along 
without it?— In fact how does English get along without it now? Obviously these are historically 
new constructions, in the natural languages, whose grammar has not yet jelled. 

4.30 The Non-Designating Variables ba be bo bu 

When a speaker of English wants to talk about something or someone da cannot properly 
designate, da freguently uses the words 'something' or 'someone'. In Loglan the four variables b a 
be bo bu are used for this same purpose. (Note that bi is missing from this series; bi is the 
identity operator and will be discussed in the next chapter.) 

(1) Bapaditkami Something bit me. 


(2) Banakokfabe Someone's cooking something. 


(3) Ba pa crina Something rained. (Usually 'It 


All these sentences express in both languages the speaker's inability to locate the thing or things 
the sentence is about. Or, as we might say from sentence (1), da doesn't know what bit him. All 
da knows is that da was bitten. And da infers from this that there exists something x that did the 
biting.— Similarly, who is prepared to designate the cloud from which rain falls? We will use the 
lower-case letters x, y and z in English text to represent these non- designating variables. 

Logicians call sentences which make claims of this kind existential propositions. Their claims 
are minimal. For all that is necessary to establish the truth of (1), for example, is to find that there 
exists something somewhere that bit the speaker.— How different this is from the same sentence 
with a definite designation: 

(4) Da paditkami X bit me. 


For sentence (4) accuses a definite culprit, X, where (1) only vaguely proposes that the crime 
occurred. As a conseguence, (4) is easy to refute, for the accused-whom we can presumably 
locate- is either guilty or da is not. In contrast, (1) is almost impossible to refute. For how many 
"somethings" do we have to examine before our failure to find one that satisfies some given 
predicate may be taken as conclusive? The answer is, all of them. And that is everything there is. 
It is in this sense that existential propositions make minimal claims about the world. 

Logically, the non- designating variables are very important. For example, they permit the clear 
expression of just these minimal claims that are often disguised with the indefinite article in the 
Indo-European languages. Thus the mystery of English 'a' and 'an' is resolved at once with this 
device. For consider what it means to say: 

(5) A man came. 

Is it not eguivalent to saying? 

(6) Something was a man and came. 

And this in turn finds its very clear expression in Loglan: 

(7) Bamrenu, epakamla Some x is a man and came.— 


As we saw in Section 4.24 on the art of indefinite description, we may also translate (5) into 
Loglan with what amounts to Loglan's indefinite article, the guantifier su ('at least one'): 

(8) Su mrenu pa kamla At least one man came. 


Logically (7) and (8) make identical claims, and the Loglan speaker is free to use whichever 
form da pleases. (8) is a little more economical than (7) in that the implied connective e and its 
associated pause do not have to be spoken in the Su preda-form. On the other hand, the Ba 
preda e-form is logically more explicit, and loglanists will often prefer to use it for that reason. 

In choosing between forms like (7) and (8), one must also be wary of the temptation to follow 
one's English habits, some of which, I am sorry to say, are almost certain to be bad. For example, 
the English translation I have given for (8) (At least one man came') is often an incorrectly 
abbreviated form of guite a different English claim: 

(9) At least one of the men (I have in Su le mrenu pa kamla 
mind) came. 


Many English speakers regularly use the English of (8) when they mean the English-and 
therefore the Loglan-of (9). If you have such speech- habits in English, it would be wise to use 
the more explicit existential form of (7) when making claims of this kind in Loglan. 

The difference between the claims of (8) and (9) is not trivial. Its importance may be sensed if 
we remember that (8) is actually an abbreviation of 

( 10) Su le ra mrenu pa kamla At least one of the set of all men 


/suleraM RE nupaK A Mia/ 

And when we also consider that the sets involved in sentences like (9) hardly ever have more 
than ten or a hundred members, the large logical difference between the two kinds of claim 
becomes apparent. Sentences like (10) claim the existence of an unknown and unbeatable man 
that came, hardly more. Sentences like (9) identify the man that came as a member of a beatable 
set. That is a long way toward having his address. 

In short, it is alright to use Su preda when one really does mean to make the minimal existential 
claim of (7) and (10), but at no other times. The logically safest bet- in any language-is to speak 
existentially (i.e., with 'something's and 'someone's or ba's and he's) when one's claim is 
existential. So in a logical language, the Ba preda e-form of (7) may come to be preferred over 
the simpler indefinite description of (8). 

There is another reason why the longer Ba preda e-form may be favored by loglanists who are 
attracted by the idea of "talking symbolic logic". The original English sentence (5) seems to 
involve only one predicate idea, namely that something came. But as (6) and (7) suggest, two 
claims are actually afoot here, namely that something came and was a man. How obscure the 
English form with the indefinite descriptor 'a' really is! For on the misleading parallel with a very 
similar sentence containing the definite article, 

(11) The man came. 

we are tempted to think in English that sentence (5) uses the predicate word 'man' in a 
designation, and hence that it is not part of the speaker's claim at all.— This is the first error. The 
second is that we are tempted to think that the phrases 'a man' and su mrenu are designations, 
but "indefinite" ones, as an English-speaking grammarian might call them. They are indefinite 
quantifications, as we have already seen. But the set over which the guantifiers su and 'at least 
one' operate is the set of all men; and so to gualify as some man, one must be something x which 
really is a man; and this is not designation but predication.— We are claiming that this indefinite 
something x, whoever and wherever it may be, actually is a man. 

This is an important and subtle difference. The thing I mean when I say 'The man came' needn't 
be a man for my sentence to be true. That man may be a woman. But the thing I mean-but do 
not know the location or identity of, and therefore cannot designate-when I say A man came' 
must be a man for my sentence to be true. Thus two predications are afoot in the sentences with 
indefinite descriptions as we originally surmised. And unlike all other variables, the non- 
designating variables ba be bo, with which we make such claims, do not designate anything at 
all. Hence their name. Their use reveals, in fact, the speaker's intention not to designate- not to 
give the perpetrator's location away ('Someone broke it')-even when da can.— 

Another use of the non- designating variables is in "universals." These are the general claims 
about the world that people make when they are feeling incautious (All crows are black') or 
didactic (All whales are mammals'). Here is an instance of the incautious variety, first in rather 
literary English: 

(12) All who love the Sun, love Spain. 

Then in a style of English that is logically more sophisticated: 

(13) If anyone loves the Sun, then he loves Spain. 
Then in Loglan: 

(14) Raba cluva la Sol noa la Espanias Each something x loves the Sun 

only if (it loves) Spain. 


(The pause before /esPANias/ is the one reguired everywhere in Loglan before vowel-initial 
words, and is usually very short: a glottal stop.) 

Now we may observe two things about this Loglan sentence. First by guantifying the non- 
designating variable ba with the "all" -operator ra, we are suddenly talking about everything 
there is. For every something x is indeed everything, for each something x can be anything at all. 
This apparently reckless move is called "universal guantification",— and we will deal with it 
more fully in Chapter 5 (specifically, Section 5.17 ). But for the moment we need only remark 
that it allows us to convert the weak existential claim of 

(15) B a cluva la Sol, noa la Espanias Something x loves the Sun only if 

(it loves) Spain. 

into a conjunction of an infinite number of such claims about all the somethings that there are. It 
is in this sense that Ra ba means that for every something x, some specified thing about each x is 

Second, note that each time we apply (14) to a new something it says only that if that particular 
something is a lover of the Sun, then it is (also) a lover of Spain. But this implication will almost 
always be trivially true. For the vast majority of somethings- including your pencil, the Moon, 
and the electron hovering at the tip of your nose-do not love the Sun; and this makes it true of 
them that if they love the Sun (as they don't) they also love Spain (but don't have to). It is the 
genius of modern logic to have discovered that an infinite number of trivialities, plus a few non- 
trivialities- and these concern in this case those relatively few somethings that love the Sun- 
adds up to something that is not trivial, namely a generalization. In this case, what is non-trivial 
is the generalization we can now make about Sun- lovers without designating them-or even 
pretending that we can-namely, that whoever and wherever they are, they all love Spain. 

Logicians call such sentences universal propositions; and though they are built, as you see, on 
the same non- designating variables as the existential sentences are, they claim much more. 

Here are some further examples of universals built with Raba and noa: 


(16) Raba mrenu, noa razdou [rahz-DOH- Each something x is a man only if 
oo ] (it) reasons (gives reasons). ('All 

men are rational.') 
/rabaM RE nu.noarazD u/ 

(17) Raba mrenu, noa nu matma be Each something x is a man only if 

(it) is mothered by something y. 
('Every man has a mother.') 


(18) Raba simba, noa miotci [MY OH- Each something x is a lion only if 
chee] ( it) meat- eats. ( 'L ions eat meat. ') 


The grammar of these Loglan remarks is plain. Each involves a connected predicate formed with 
the implicative connective noa; and each involves a non- designating variable of the ba-series 
which is guantified with the universal guantifier ra. Other argument terms may be involved, and 
these may either be designations, like la Sol in (14), or other non-designating variables, like be 
in (17). But the essential reguirements of a universal claim in Loglan are that it contain, first, at 
least one universally- guantified non- designating variable, and second, a connection made with 
noa. As we have already suggested with sentence (14), and as we will see in detail in the next 
section, this essential connection may involve one of the arguments instead of the predicate of 
the sentence. 

But how elegant the natural languages are! 'Lions eat meat' is surely a most satisfying 
abbreviation of the complex notion shown explicitly in Raba simba noa mitro titci. But also 
how obscure! For Lions live in Kenya' {some lions do, but some do not) and Lions are found all 
over Africa' (lionkind is so distributed, but no individual lion or set of lions is) are English 
sentences which use the same grammatical form to make entirely different claims. In Loglan we 
have sacrificed this elegance to penetrate this obscurity; and the result is sometimes clumsier but 
always clear. Besides, we can imitate the Indo-European languages fairly closely when we want 
to, and we will often want to when translating from these natural tongues. Thus 

(19) Ra simba ga miotci All lions meat-eat. 


(20) Le ra simba ga miotci Each of the set of all lions meat- 


(which make the same claim) are available for these natural- language-imitating purposes. Thus 
we do not insist that the good loglanist "talk symbolic logic" every time da open's da's mouth. 
Logicality is a style of Loglan speech that is available to any loglanist should de wish to use it.— 

But Loglan has an even more telling advantage over English in the matter of universals. For 
observe that nearly every grammatical form of the English noun can be used to make a universal 
claim. Thus, not only the plural noun without an article, as in Lions eat meat', but also the plural 
noun with an article can be used to make the same claim: 

(21) The lions eat meat (as opposed to the zebras, say). 
But we also say, 

(22) The lion eats meat. 

and mean exactly the same thing, though grammatically this is now the singular noun with the 
definite article. And even the singular noun without an article is occasionally used to make a 
universal claim: 

(23) Man eats meat. 

This last sentence definitely suggests the sense of the mass description in Loglan. Even so, it 
may be argued that in some contexts sentence (23) might be used to make a universal claim 
about individual men. But curiously enough even the singular noun with an indefinite article 
sometimes expresses a universal claim. For 

(24) A man eats meat. 

in the same sense that A man fights back' ('if he is a man', we are tempted to add) also makes 
this universal claim. In fact there is only one form of the English noun construction that, so far as 
I know, is never used to make a universal claim; and that is what is called the "indefinite plural" 
form in 'Some men eat meat' Thus five out of the six ways in which nouns are used in English 
are occasionally employed to make universal claims. 

But the riotous way in which the speaker of English uses noun constructions to make universal 
statements suggests that something has gone wrong. It suggests that the freguency of use of 
universals has increased markedly since the grammatical bones of the language were laid down, 
and that the grammar of the language has not kept up with these new needs. At least something 
in the English mind seems to resist the explicitly provided universal form All men eat meat' in 
favor of the wildly-varied but abbreviated noun forms we have just surveyed. Perhaps the 
transformational clumsiness of the "all"-form compared to the elegant transformability of the 
more precise conditional, as in 'If something is a man then it eats meat', has already been felt by 
users of English. The suggestion of a suppressed conditional in the form A man eats meat (if he 
is a man)' seems to forecast even further development along this line. 

However this may be in English, or may become in the English usage of the future, the preferred 
form of the universal claim in Loglan compositions-as distinct from translations into Loglan 
from the natural languages where more imitative styles may be preferred-is the conditionally 
expressed claim with the universal guantifier: 

(25) Raba mrenu, noa miotci Each something x is a man only if 

(it is) a meat- eater. 

/rabaM REnu.noaM IOtci/ 

For this is the form that is most readily transformed into other forms. Many variations on this 
theme are possible as we shall see. But all of them involve the non- designating variables and a 
connection made with noa, or some other connection egually capable of expressing the 
conditional idea.— 

4.31 Optional Case Tags 

The prepositions that sometimes precede the arguments of Loglan predicates are called case tags. 
They "tag" selected arguments for their role in the sentence, especially when those arguments are 
out of their standard order. The standard order of the arguments of a Loglan predicate is, of 
course, the order in which they are spoken when that predicate is unconverted and its arguments 
are untagged. This is the "dictionary order" in which you have been shown the places of at least 
some of the predicates we have used. It is also the order in which you will find the places of 
predicates shown in Appendices B-F. 

Here is a sentence in which a tagged argument is not in standard order: 

(1) Da pa donsu, beu [beigh-oo] de di X gave object Y (to) Z. 


The standard order of the arguments of d o n su is donor- recipient-gift. This is the same as the 
unmarked order in English: 'X gives Z Y .'— But by tagging de with the case tag beu, which we 
have translated 'object', we make it clear that Y is the gift. So we are free to put the new 
designation of the recipient, which is beu de, in an unusual position, namely in second position 
instead of third, which is the usual order of the designation of a gift in both Loglan and English. 

Once the gift is tagged, we may also tag the recipient: 

(2) Da pa donsu, beu de, dio [dyoh] di X gave object Y to recipient Z. 

/dapaD Nsu.beuD E .dioD 1/ 

This move would seem unnecessary to a loglanist unless da suspected da's listener de might 
profit from this "extra" information... as de would do if de were a learner, say. For the benefit of 
that learner, da might even tag the giver place and speak all the arguments in their standard 

(3) Kao [kough] da pa donsu, beu de, dio Actor X gave object Y to 
di recipient Z. 


Although rare in English, this move gives the learner a maximum amount of information about 
the place- structure of the predicate de is learning. A similar move might be made by an instructor 
attempting to teach the idioms of English to foreigners. 

Let's look at a more usual English sentence involving the same predicate notion: 

(4) John gave his sister the puppy. 

All the arguments in (4) are untagged. While the character of their designata allows us to guess 
who is giver, what is gift, and who is recipient, in the end it is the order of the unmarked 
arguments that determines their role in the sentence. To see this, let us exchange the second and 
third arguments of sentence (4) while leaving them unmarked: 

(5) John gave the puppy his sister. 

The claim is still clear enough. It's an absurd one now, or at best a sentimental one expressed 
metaphorically. But clearly with (5) the speaker is making a sharply different claim from that of 
(4). What emerges from exercises of this kind is that it is the position of an unmarked English 
argument that determines its role in the sentence. 

Now let us see the effect of tagging. If we tag 'his sister' in (4) with the preposition 'to', we may 
successfully speak its claim in two guite different orders: 

(6) John gave the puppy to his sister. 

(7) To his sister, John gave the puppy. 

We might even try the unusual move of putting the tagged argument before the verb: 

(8) John to his sister gave the puppy. 

That would also be understood in English. Tagged arguments are evidently guite mobile.. .in both 

We might try to explain the mobility produced by tagging in the following way. English 
prepositions like 'to' are evidently signs of particular English "cases", where by case we mean a 
category of sentential roles: for example, the roles played by subjects, objects, indirect objects, 
and so on, in sentences. 'To' is often a sign of the "dative" case in English; and that is the case to 
which all sorts of indirect objects-- which include designations of destinations, beneficiaries and 
other recipients- are always assigned. English has several such cases, but only its pronouns are 
ever inflected for them. For example, 'he/him/his' and 'I/me/my' are the "nominative", 
"accusative" and "genitive" cases, respectively, of two English pronouns. But unlike the nouns of 
Latin and Greek, English nouns are never inflected for case. So if we want to mark English 
nouns and noun phrases for case- that is, for their role in the sentence- we must tag them with 
prepositions. (Notice that these are called "prepositions" because in English they are positioned 
before the objects they tag.) Once tagged, English nouns and noun phrases may be moved around 
at will without losing their case-identities. 

This is just what we do in Loglan. Loglan, of course, is a completely uninfected language. 
Moreover, it has no nouns, just predicates which may be used as arguments. But, like English, 
Loglan does have a set of optional prepositions with which speakers may tag the cases of their 
arguments when they want to move them around. 

Unlike the English tagging system, the Loglan case tag system is formally complete. That is to 
say, it will assign a case, and hence a tag, to any place of any predicate. This is more than can be 
said for English, for example, some of whose noun cases, e.g., those of the subjects and direct 
objects we have already mentioned, are almost always unmarked. Loglan has eleven cases, and 
each is uniguely represented by a preposition that is used for nothing else; see the list at the end 
of this section. Among them, all the roles ever played by arguments in Loglan sentences are 
exhaustively provided for. 

On the other hand, case-marking is never reguired in Loglan as it often is in English. Indeed, 
there are some English cases that are never untagged. In contrast, the Loglan case system is 
optional in the strong sense that the entire system may be dispensed with if a speaker or writer 
wishes to. A milder way of saying this is that the arguments of every Loglan predicate have an 
unmarked form. Indeed, the order of arguments in that unmarked form is their dictionary order, 
the order in which you will find them whenever that predicate is being defined. In contrast, 
relatively few complete English predicates even have an unmarked form. The verb '(to) give' 
happens to be one that has; but most do not. Try saying that Jack is the father of Sally through 
mother Jane without using prepositions. There is no unmarked English sentence that conveys this 
meaning. But in Loglan, as we know, this and every other multi- place claim may be made 
without using a single preposition: La Djek, farfu la Selis, la Djein 

But let us return to giving. Here is the Loglan version of sentence (4): 

(9) La Djan, pa donsu leda sorme le John gave his sister the puppy 
cinkau [sheen-KAH-oo]. (infant-dog). 


Like (4), (9) is entirely untagged. But now let's tag the three arguments of this sentence and then 
permute them as we did in the English sentences (5)-(8). The tags we will use were introduced in 
sentence (3), where we used them without comment. Let's examine the origins of these three 
particular tags now. 

The tag used to mark the Recipient Case in Loglan is dio. Dio is derived from dirco ('direction') 
which suggests a pointing to something or someone and so serves as an easily remembered cue 
to the notion of a receiver. The Recipient Case includes, of course, not only receivers but 
destinations.. .anything at all toward which things move. The Actor Case is marked by kao, 
which is similarly derived from kakto ('act'). It includes all sorts of agents, doers and perceivers. 
The first place of many Loglan predicates- but certainly not of all-are in the Actor Case. The 
Patient Case, which is used for all parts, passives and properties-of which gifts, because of their 
passivity, are instances- is marked by beu. Beu is derived from bekti = 'thing', which suggests 
passivity. Thus the completely tagged form of (9) is 

(10) Kao la Djan, pa donsu dio leda sorme An Actor, John, gave to a 

beu le cinkau Recipient, his sister, a Patient, the 


This is of course much more information than anyone but a learner of the language will ever 
reguire... especially as the arguments are still in their standard order. But notice that once the 
three arguments have been tagged in this way, we may now speak the four elements of the new 
sentence (the predicate and its three tagged arguments) in any order we like: 

(1 1) Beu le cinkau kao la Djan, pa donsu A Patient, the puppy, an Actor, 
dio leda sorme John, gave to a Recipient, his 



(12) Dio leda sorme beu le cinkau kao la To a Recipient, his sister, a 
Djan, pa donsu Patient, the puppy, an Actor, 

John, gave. 

(13) Kao la Djan, beu le cinkau dio leda An Actor, John, a Patient, the 
sorme pa donsu puppy, to a Recipient, his sister, 


(14) Dio leda sorme pa donsu beu le To a Recipient, his sister, gave a 
cinkau kao la Djan Patient, the puppy, an Actor, 



(15) Pa donsu kao la Djan, dio leda sorme Gave an Actor, John, to a 

beu le cinkau B eneficiary, his sister, a Patient, 

the puppy. 
/paD NsukaolaD J A N .dioledaS Rme.beulecinK A u 

These are only six of the 24 ways in which four distinct elements may be arranged. But the other 
18 orders are egually understandable. 

Now the thing to notice from this exercise is that our understanding of these sentences is not 
dependent on their being presented to us in any particular order. Despite our minds having been 
trained in the ways of an order- dependent language like English, we are apparently able to 
understand the giving relationship between John, his sister, and the puppy he is giving her when 
its participants are mentioned to us in any order... provided only that the role of each in that 
relationship be known. It is this remarkable fact about our "sentence understander"- remarkable, 
that is, to those of us who speak order- dominated languages like English (it would not surprise 
an ancient Roman.. .Latin poetry, for example, apparently exploits the freedom to be disorderly in 
a most exuberant way)-that makes the optional case system of Loglan workable. In short, order 
is dispensable. And that is a surprise.— 

Table 4.1 gives the eleven Loglan cases. Each is represented by its letter symbol, its tag, the 
Loglan source of the tag-a predicate which is also the name of that case in Loglan-an English 
keyword which gives a clue to the meaning of the case name, some English prepositions 
commonly associated with that case (if any are), and examples of typical roles played in 
sentences by arguments assigned to that case. Notice that the case letteral is always the initial 

letter of the Loglan tag but not always of the case name. We will often use these letterals to tell 
the reader what case assignments have been given the places of some predicate in which we are 
interested. For example, case letterals are often used as dummy variables in Loglan dictionary 

Table 4.1 The Eleven Optional Case Tags 

B beu Bekti (object) '-/in 1 Patients, Parts, Properties 

C cau Canli (guantity) 'by/for' Quantities, Amounts, Values 

D dio Dirco (direction) 'to/for' Recipients, Beneficiaries, Destinations 

F |foa Folma (full) 'in/of Wholes, Sets, Collectivities 

J [jui [junti (young) 'than' Lessers in greater/lesser than relations 

K |kao Kakto (act) '-/by' Actors, Agents, Doers 

N neu Nerbi (necessary) 'under' Conditions, Fields, Circumstances 

P pou Proju (produce) '-' Products, Outputs, Purposes 

G goa Groda (big) 'than' Greaters in greater/lesser than relations 

S sau Satci (start) 'from' Sources, Origins, Reasons, Causes 

V veu Vetci (event) 'by/via' Events, States, Deeds, Means, Routes, Effects 

We may expect loglanists to use their optional case system under at least three circumstances: (1) 
When the argument so-tagged is to be used out of its standard order, as may be desired to 
preserve the natural word-order in a translation, for example, or for writing poetry, when the 
freedom of maximum disorder may be desired. (2) When the tagged argument is a fourth or 
higher-order argument of its predicate. Experience has shown that the meanings of the first three 
places of even long predicates are easily remembered, but that later arguments-su/bn' ones, as 
we might say in Loglan-are easily confounded. The habit of routinely tagging the sufori 
arguments of sufora predicates prevents this. (3) When the listener is suspected of not knowing 
the place- structure of some predicate, as is often the case, for example, when the speaker is a 
teacher and the predicate is still new. In most other circumstances we expect that many loglanists 
will be charmed, as logicians and mathematicians often are, by the transformational elegance of 
Loglan's preposition- free forms. 

But again we must be prepared to be surprised. The interesting scientific guestion is, How will 
the Loglan case tags actually be used? What kinds of users will use them and in what contexts? 
Again, we have the outcome of an interesting natural experiment to observe.— 

4.32 Connected Arguments with anoi enoi onoi 

In Chapter 3 we saw how predicate expressions could be connected in an afterthought way with 
the connectives e, a, o, u, and noa. This same apparatus is available for connecting arguments as 
well. For just as we can say Da mrenu, e farfu, and mean that Da mrenu and Da farfu are both 
true, so we can say: 

(1) Da, e de mrenu X and Y are men. 


and mean that Da mrenu and De mrenu are both true. Recall that connections made with e are 
called conjunctions. We may also form alternations with a, equivalences with o ; independencies 
with u, and implications with noa between argument pairs: 

(2) Tu, a mi fa ditca Y ou or I-and possibly both- will 

be teachers. 

(3) LaDjan, o laMeris, fagodzi John-if and only if Mary does- 

will go. 

(4) La Djan ; u la Meris, fa godzi John-whether Mary does or not- 

will go. 

(5) Raba cluva la Sol ; noa la Espanias Each x loves the Sun only if (it 

loves) Spain. 
/rabaCLUvalaSOL .noala.esPA Nias/ 

This is the list of connectives we had available at the end of Chapter 3. We can now make 
several additions, all of which will apply retroactively, as it were, to predicates. 

As the expression 'only if in the English of sentence (5) suggests, we find it awkward to form 
afterthought implications between arguments in English. It is in any case not nearly so easy to 
assert this important connection as an afterthought in English as it is in Loglan. But there is 
another form of implication that is readily asserted between English arguments. Consider the 
following sentence: 

(6) Raba cluva la Espanias, anoi la Sol Each x loves Spain if the Sun. 


Thus with 'if and anoi we make exactly the same claim in (6) as we make in (5) with 'only if 
and noa; but in (6) the arguments la Espanias and la Sol ('Spain' and 'the Sun') are put in an 
order that somehow seems more understandable, or at least more convenient, in English.— Now 
the connection that is made so neatly with English 'if is called converse implication, for it is the 
same as implication (A implies B) with its terms reversed (B is implied by A). Similarly, the 
Loglan compound connective anoi is nothing but the converse of the connection made with noa. 
For if the defining form of noa is no A a B, as we learned in Chapter 3, then all we need to do is 
switch the terms around to get B a no A. This then provides the defining form of the word for 'if 
or anoi. The final vowel -i is necessary in this compound word to keep it from breaking up, so to 
speak, into the two words a and no. Thus, 

(7) Godzi la Romas, anoi la Paris Go to Rome if to Paris. 

/G OdzilaROmas.anoilapaRIS/ 
differs from 

(8) Godzi la Romas, a no la Paris Go to Rome and/or not to Paris. 


only by that single letter. And note that (7) and (8) are grammatically distinct forms, even though 
they make exactly the same claim. Notice, too, that in Loglan it is obvious that they do. That 
their translations are also eguivalent is not at all obvious in English. 

Now just as we can construct the connectives noa and anoi from the negative affixes no- and - 
noi, so we can construct other compound connectives from these same affixes by attaching them 
to other bases. Here are some of those other compounds: 

(9) Godzi la Romas, onoi la Paris Go to Rome or Paris, but not to 



The word onoi expresses the "exclusive" sense of English 'or'. This is the sense of 'or' we use 
when we tell our children that we can go to the mountains or the seaside, but not to both. Since 
the word onoi is formed on the base o, you may assume that the connection of exclusive 'or' is 
based on the notion of eguivalence even in English... that it is, in short, negative eguivalence. We 
can see this best by breaking the word onoi in Sentence (9) into its parts: 

(10) Godzi la Romas, o no la Paris Going to Rome is eguivalent to 

not going to Paris. 

And in English we would like to add 'and vice versa'. In short, a negative idea (not going to 
Paris) is said to be eguivalent to the positive expression of another idea (going to Rome). Since 
what eguivalence reguires is that both its terms be true (not going to Paris and going to Rome) or 
both false (not not going to Paris and not going to Rome, or going to Paris but not to Rome), we 
see that this is exactly what we mean by the exclusive sense of 'or' in English. We shall call this 
connection disjunction, to distinguish it from the inclusive sense of 'or', or alternation. 

We may now observe that onoi and anoi are parallel forms. We might think of them as negative 
equivalence and negative alternation, respectively. This is true logically in English, but not 
lexically. For it is impossible to tell from their verbal forms alone that both '...or.. .but not both' 
and '...if...' involve an implicit negation of their second terms. Y ou will have to take it on faith 
that they do, or take a moment to study the generating formulas of the Loglan forms. 

Let us now consider some more transparently negative forms. There are several senses of 
negative conjunction in Loglan. One of them is '...and not...' or enoi [en-noy]; the other is 
'not... and...' ornoe [no-eh]: 

( 1 1 ) G odzi la Romas, enoi la Paris. G o to Rome but not to Paris. 

/G OdzilaROmas.enoilapaRIS/ 

(12) Godzi la Romas, noe la Paris Go not to Rome but to Paris. 


The claims of these Loglan compounds are both obvious in English. As usual they are 
equivalent respectively to the expanded forms: 

(13) Godzi la Romas, e no la Paris. Go to Rome and not to Paris. 


(14) Godzi no la Romas, e la Paris. Go not to Rome and to Paris. 


But what does doubly negated conjunction with noenoi [noh-en-noy] ('not.. .and not...') actually 
mean? Does it have a useful meaning? It turns out that it does. This double negation is just what 
we mean in English by 'neither.. .nor...': 

( 1 5) G odzi la Romas, noenoi la Paris G o neither to Rome nor to Paris. 


And if a doubly negated conjunction is meaningful, what about doubly negated alternation with 
noanoi [noh-ahn-noy] ('either not. .or not. .and possibly both are false')? This is a rare 
connection, but we do assert it now and then in English with the expression 'not both.. .and.. .are 
true', or some equivalent phrase: 

(16) Godzi la Romas noanoi la Paris Don't go to both Rome and Paris. 


There are other compound forms, principally the varieties of independence formed on the base u. 
But these are less interesting and need not detain us here. The reader is again reminded that the 
complete connective system may be examined in Appendix B. 

We have now defined eleven of the fourteen Loglan connectives in afterthought form: e, noe, 
enoi and noenoi; a, noa, anoi and noanoi; o and onoi; and finally u. These eleven words form 
most of the logical connections in Loglan, both between arguments and between predicates. 
Their c- marked forms (sheks) may even be used to connect predicate words within predicate 
strings. So, retrospectively, the forms noce cenoi nocenoi [noh-sheh shen-noy noh-shen-noy], 
canoi nocanoi [shahn-noy noh-shahn-noy], and conoi [shohn-noy] may now be added to the kit 
of internal connectives ca ce co cu and noca that was introduced in Section 3.16 . But all these 
infixed connective forms have limitations. They cannot be used to express certain complex 
sequences of connected ideas unambiguously. For example, what does it mean to say 'Bob or 
John and Pete if Joe were students' in English? We will see in the next section how such riddles 
are solved in Loglan. 

4.33 Forethought Argument Connections 

The reader will recall that certain k- marked connections (which we there called keks) were used 
in the previous chapter to make forethought connections between predicates, i.e., to "kek" them. 
These were ka ke ko ku and kanoi as derived from the basic set of five afterthought connectives 
a e o u and noa (often called eks). All the keks were to be positioned before the pair of elements 
to be connected and the infix ki was to be placed between them. Thus, meant 
'either.. .or...', meant 'both.. .and...', and kanoi.. .ki... meant 'if.. .then...'. (Please note in 
passing that the phonemically similar ...anoi... is also translated with English 'if'.) Let us now 
extend this set of five keks by deriving an additional six k-connectives from the six compound 
eks, namely anoi enoi onoi noe noenoi and noanoi, that were derived in the previous section. 

Take anoi = '...if...'. To get the kek that corresponds to anoi, we prefix /k/ to its significant vowel 
a, getting ka, and then add -noi to the infix ki, getting a new infix kinoi. Thus the whole kek that 
corresponds to anoi is ka... kinoi.... This makes sense if we remember that the defining form of 
anoi is ...a no.... Thus ka... kinoi... expresses the same connection as ...a no... does but with the 
forethought version of the connective. Similarly, the keks for enoi and onoi are ke... kinoi... and 
ko... kinoi..., both of which also use the new infix kinoi. 

But now let us derive the kek for noe = 'not.. .but...'. Here the defining form is no...e.... Just as we 
derived kanoi.. .ki... ('if... then...') from noa and no.. .a..., so we will now get from 
no...e.... Similarly, the kek for noenoi will be kenoi... kinoi..., and noanoi gives us the kek 
kanoi. .kinoi... All these new keks apply retroactively to Section 3.18 on kekking predicates, of 
course, and all these same keks, new and old, may now also be used to kek arguments. For 

(1) Ke la Djan, ki la Pit, stude Both John and Pete are students. 


(2) Ke la Djan, ki ka la Pit, ki la Meris, Both John and either Pete or Mary 
ditca are teachers. 


Sentence (1) is of course eguivalent to 

(3) La Djan, e la Pit, stude John and Pete are students. 


But (2) is not eguivalent to 

(4) La Djan, e la Pit, a la Meris, ditca John and Pete, or Mary are 

/laDJ A N .elaPIT .alaM ERis.D ITca/ 

but to 

(5) La Djan ; e ka la Pit, ki la Mens, ditca John and either Pete or Mary are 


For ; since all unmarked connections are to be interpreted as afterthoughts in Loglan, the listener 
will group the elements of (4) in the following way: 

(4 1 ) [(la Djan e la Pit) a la Meris] ditca 

This rule is guite general. Any string of unmarked connections in Loglan will group naturally to 
the left...; or, as we will sometimes say, such strings are left- associative. Thus in A e B a C the 
association must be as (i) [(A e B) a C ] and not as (ii) [A e (B a C )]. The reason is that in 
afterthought mode each new connected element must be connected to a construction that is in 
some sense already complete. So to get the right-associativity of (ii), one must use a marked 
connective to embrace the final pair of elements in a group (ka B ki C ), and this expression may 
then be connected as an afterthought to the initial element A. This produces (iii) [A e (ka B ki 
C)] which has the same right- grouping as (ii); and this is the interpretation of (2) and (5) already 
given. Indeed, (5) will parse as: 

(5 1 ) [la Djan e (ka la Pit ki la Meris)] ditca 

If now we go back and look at the twice k-connected (2), we see that it, too, will evidently parse 

(2 1 ) [ke la Djan ki (ka la Pit ki la Meris)] ditca 

Thus both (2) and (5) are right- associated groupings of the same elements and so make the same 
claim. Evidently kekking the conjunction in (2) was unnecessary. Of the two eguivalent forms, 
the minimally kekked form used in (5) tends to be preferred by loglanists over the one with the 
unnecessary kek in (2). In general, it is considered good style in Loglan to use unmarked 
connections when the normal left- associativity of the language accomplishes what is meant, and 
to kek connections only when the abnormal condition of right-associativity is reguired. 

Let us consider a somewhat longer example of a sentence with unmarked, and therefore left- 
grouped, connections. 

(6) La Bab, a la Djan, e la Pit, anoi la Djos, stude 


This can only mean '([[Bob orJohn> and Peter] if Joe) were students' whatever may be the case 
with similar unmarked strings in English.— If, therefore, we want to express a different grouping 
pattern than the simple left-associative one which the listener will assume on hearing (6), we 
must use one or more marked connections. (In the next few examples we will translate 
ka...kinoi..., which is the marked form of ...anoi... = 'if, with the curiously backward expression 
'then.. .if...'. This is by analogy with 'if... then...' which translates, the converse of 

ka ...kinoi. ... There is no marked form of '...if...' in English. So we have to invent one to translate 
the Loglan.) Thus both of the following sentences 

(7) La Bab, a la Djan, e ka la Pit, kinoi la [(Bob or John) and (then Pete if 
Djos, stud Joe)] are students. 


(8) La Bab, a ke la Djan, ki ka la Pit, (Bob or [John and [then Pete if 
kinoi la Djos, stude Joe>]) are students. 


are minimally marked. By this I mean that the groupings intended- -here shown by parenthesizing 
the English- cannot be expressed with fewer keks... given this order of elements, anyway. As you 
may now guess, the most difficult connections to understand are precisely those in which the 
stylistic sin of unnecessary kekking has been most exuberantly indulged, namely the completely 
kekked left-associated pattern. For in these, of course, no kekking at all is really necessary. Here 
is an extreme example of such "bad form": 

(9) Ka ke ka la Bab, ki la Djan, ki la Pit, (Then [both [either Bob or John> 
kinoi la Djos, stude and Pete] if Joe) are students. 


Both the English and the Loglan specimens are very nearly incomprehensible (although the 
parenthesizing does help us glimpse the meaning of the English). But since (9) is eguivalent to 
(6), which is readily comprehensible in both languages, (9) is hardly likely to occur. 

In general, then, one uses marked forms for right-associative structures in Loglan, letting the left- 
associated ones take care of themselves. This avoidance of redundantly marked connections is a 
little like our reluctance to use the predicate grouping operator ge unnecessarily even though 
doing so is perfectly grammatical; see Section 3.12 . 

Here is an example of a sentence which is sparingly kekked in both languages: 

(10) La Bab, ditca, e stude, e kanoi gudbi Bob is a teacher and a student, 
stude ki gudbi ditca and if a good student, then a good 



Note that the claim, though complicated, is guite comprehensible. The single kek is necessary, by 
the way; for the wholly unmarked version 

(11) La Bab, ditca, e stude, e gudbi stude, noa gudbi ditca 


does not make the same claim as (10). The reader may enjoy figuring out what claim (11) does 
make and deciding whether it is likely to be a true one. Again, the reader is reminded that the full 
connective system may be examined in Appendix B.— 

4.34 Negative Arguments 

In the two previous sections we used negative arguments without comment in such sentences as: 

(1) Mi pa godzi la Romas, e no la Paris I went to Rome and not to Paris. 


The advantage of using no in such positions is that it allows us to express two related claims 
economically in the same sentence. But how are we to interpret no before arguments in sentences 
which have no connectives? Consider the following sentence: 

(2) Mi pa godzi no la Paris I went not to Paris. 

/mipaG D zi.nolapaRIS/ 

Clearly this is one of the two sentences (the other being Mi pa godzi la Romas) which have 
been implicitly connected to form the compound claim of sentence (1), the legitimacy of which 
we have already accepted. We are plainly obliged to accept its constituent (2) as a grammatical 
form as well. Y et the English version of sentence (2) has a curiously archaic ring. When we 
revive this archaism in Loglan we do so to obtain certain transformational advantages, not the 
least of which is the disentangling of just such negative connections as occur in (1). There are 
other advantages, but before considering them let us first be clear what no means before 
argument terms. Consider the next three sentences: 

(3) No la Paris, pa nu godzi mi Not Paris was gone to by me. 


(4) No, la Paris, pa nu godzi mi It is not the case that Paris was 

gone to by me. 

(5) No, mi pa godzi la Paris It is not the case that I went to 

/NO. mipaG ODzilapaRIS/ 

Sentence (3) is obviously the converse of sentence (2), the one in which we first found the 
argument la Paris negated. In (3) we brought the negative argument to the head of the sentence. 
Sentence (4) is evidently a permissible transform of (3) in which the scope of the negation has 
been extended to the whole sentence. Evidently this can be done simply by pausing after the 
now-initial No. Sentence (5) is apparently a reconversion of (4) back into the original order of 
arguments as they appeared in sentence (2) but with the negative no left at the head of the 
sentence. Are we justified in doing this? 

By the rule of conversion given in Section 3.18 it is clear that (3) makes the same claim as (2),— 
although with the different emphasis expressed by the new order in which the arguments la Paris 
and mi now appear. But the interesting thing is that no, which has accompanied la Paris in its 
migration to the position of first argument in sentence (3), has now turned up at the head of the 
sentence. In this new position we may recognize No as a potential modifier of the entire 
sentence, and turn it into one simply by pausing after it and generating sentence (4), which is 
evidently what No was implicitly before. In (4), No with its following pause now has the sense 
of contradicting the whole sentence. So we may translate the No-comma seguence in sentence 
(4) by that curious phrase 'It is not the case that' which occurs so freguently in the argot of 
logicians. Such phrases occur only rarely in everyday speech and then mainly in argument 
(That's not so!') and often very awkwardly ('What you said when you said that John came to 
dinner just isn't true!'). The truth is that the Indo-European languages have no simple operator by 
which uneguivocal contradictories of given sentences may be formed. 

But in Loglan we need one. Sentence (5), which is the reconversion of (4), shows that no before 
at least some kinds of arguments has this sense of the sentential contradictor ('It is not the case 
that'); and the transformation rule by which we can always get from sentences of type (2) to 
sentences of type (5)-without bothering to go through such intermediate forms as (3) and (4)— is 
called the "rule of exportation." We may now state this rule explicitly: No before designative 
arguments may always be exported to the head of the sentence.— 

But negatives before norjr designative arguments may not be so easily exported. Suppose we wish 
to claim that some people are not fathers using the non- designating variables of Section 4.21 : 

(6) Ba farfu no be Something x is the father of no 

something y. 

If, now, we export this no to the head of the sentence we get: 

(7) No, ba farfu be It is not the case that something x 

is the father of something y. 


which means no one is a father. This is not what we intend. Evidently the easy transformation 
leading by double conversion from sentence (2) to sentence (5) is not applicable to sentences 
with non- designating variables. Let us see why. 

Suppose we try to convert the predicate of sentence (6) as follows: 

(8) No be nu farfu ba No something y is fathered by 

something x. 

But this means that no one has a father! Evidently we are not allowed to convert predicates with 
non-designative arguments. To do so would clearly be to change their meanings.— 

The reason is that every non-designating variable is an implicit sentence guantifier-which is a 
matter we will take up in Chapter 5 when we consider guantified sentences- -and the order of 
these guantifiers is often very important in logic. Conversion changes their order, sometimes 
illegitimately. Suppose, for example, we rewrite the English portions of sentences (6) and (8) in 
the style of English speech that is favored by logicians. Sentence (6) then becomes 

(9) There is an x such that there is no y such that x is the father of y. 
or, less tediously, at least one x is not a father. Sentence (8) becomes 

(10) There is no y such that there is an x such that x is the father of y. 

Or no one has a father. But the only difference between (9) and (10) is the order of the 
guantifying expressions 'there is an x such that' and 'there is no y such that'. Evidently the order 
in which such guantifications are applied to the same basic sentence makes some difference to 
those operations of the human mind that collectively we call logic. 

If, now, we examine the Loglan sentences of (6) and (8) more closely, we see that the order of 
appearance of the non-designative arguments ba and no be differs in these two sentences in a 
way that exactly reflects the order of the explicit guantifying expressions in their English 
translations as sentences (9) and (10). Moreover the negative part of the argument no be is, in a 
sense, "stuck to" its variable: it may be transformed but it may not be simply moved. The 
difference in meaning, then, between (6) and (8) inheres essentially in the order of these 
arguments. So they may not be converted without changing that meaning. 

Before leaving the matter of negative arguments, let us go back and gualify something we said 
about negative predicates in Section 3.9 . We said there that if the negative no applied to the 
entire predicate expression-as it does in Da no pa gudbi mrenu-it could be moved to the head 
of the sentence without changing the claim of that sentence. And so it may, if the sentence 
contains no non- designating variables or indefinite descriptions.. .objects we had not then 
encountered. Thus, because Da no pa gudbi mrenu ('X was not a good man') is a complete 
sentence (mrenu is one-place) it does not, therefore, even implicitly contain non-designating 
variables. The predicate negative may, therefore, be exported without changing its claim: No, da 
pa gudbi mrenu = 'It is not the case that X was a good man.' But suppose we alter the sentence 
so that it contains the non- designating variable ba in place of the designating variable da: 

( 1 1 ) B a no pa gudbi mrenu Something x was not a good man. 


Now the exportation of no produces an entirely different claim: 

(12) No, ba pa gudbi mrenu It is not the case that something x 

was a good man. 

which, as it turns out makes the same claim as the pauselessly spoken sentence: 

(13) No ba pa gudbi mrenu No something x was a good man. 


The difference between (11) and (13) is the same as that between 

(14) B a no breba Something is not bread. 


( 1 5) No ba breba Nothing is bread. 


This is clearly a difference to which every language must attend. In Loglan we attend to them by 
assigning difference in meaning to different orders of the same small set of words (ba, no ; ra, 
etc.). In English these matters are attended to with a host of different pronomial words and 
expressions ('nothing', 'no one', 'everything', 'something', 'some', 'none', etc.) as well as by strict 
rules governing the interpretation of each order: 'Nothing is related to everything' vs. 'Everything 
is related to nothing.' In both languages negatives tend to be "stuck to" their arguments if that 
argument is a non- designating word. 

The most important thing we have learned in this section is that negatives before arguments may 
be exported to the head of the sentence if and only if those arguments are of the designating kind. 
Incidentally we have also learned that negatives before predicates may also be transported to the 
head of the sentence if and only if that sentence as a whole contains no non- designating 
arguments such as non- designating variables or indefinite descriptions.— This restriction is 
broader than it sounds. We have already noted ( Section 4.30 , Note 36) that every incomplete 
sentence implicitly contains a non- designating variable: an existential if the predicate is positive, 
a universal if it is negative. Thus the innocent claim Da corta ('X is short') implicitly contains 
the minimal claim that X is shorter than something (Da corta ba) but the negative claim, Da no 
corta, is really guite extravagant, meaning as it does thatX is non- shorter than, i.e., longer than 
or egual to, literally everything there is (Da no corta raba). From this sentence we may not 
export the negative, as in No da corta raba = 'It is not the case that X is shorter than every 
something x', for to do so produces the absurd result that the X that was once claimed to be 
among the longest things in the world is now satisfied to be anything but the shortest. 

The handling of negatives is evidently fairly important in a logical language. We shall complete 
our discussion of Loglan negatives in Section 5.26 on negative sentences. 

4.35 Mixed Arguments with ze 

Just as we may say Da pa dzoru zeprano ('X walked- and- ran') and mean something guite 
different by it from Da pa dzoru, e prano, so we can form mixed arguments in Loglan with the 
same mixing operator ze. The distinction between mixed and connected argument forms need not 

puzzle us long. It is exactly the same distinction we have already encountered between quantified 
descriptions made with le and those made with lo in Loglan. Thus the difference in reference 
between the following pair of sentences, 

(1) La Djan ; e la Pit, pa pinduo [peen- John and Pete (both) painted 
DOO-oh] le hasfa (paint- did) the house. 


(2) La Djan, ze la Pit, pa pinduo le hasfa John and Pete jointly painted the 


is exactly the same difference as we might have drawn with the quantified descriptions below: 

(3) Le to mrenu pa pinduo le hasfa Each of the two men painted the 

/LEtoM REnu.papinD UoleHA Sf a/ 

(4) Leu to mrenu pa pinduo le hasfa The team of two men painted the 


For in both (1) and (3) we are talking about two independent events, both of which we assert to 
be true. Evidently they painted it at different times. Either that or they painted it at the same time 
while trying to avoid each other's brushes, for each is obliged to paint the whole house if 
sentences (1) and (3) are both to be true. Sentences (2) and (4) are more sensible. John and Pete 
now evidently constitute a team, and jointly, by dividing the work, they got it painted. From 
neither of these last two sentences can we legitimately infer that either of them painted the house. 

While the distinction between mixed and connected arguments is now plain to us- for we have 
learned to see it as potential speakers of Loglan-it is surprising how frequently the unmodified 
word 'and' is used in English to report a designation of a set and not a true connection at all. Thus 
all the following sentences almost undoubtedly contain pairs of arguments that the typical 
English speaker would intend to be regarded as a single designation of something composed of 
several parts: John and Mary own their own house', Joe and Sally are good at mixed doubles', 
'Roger and Carl went downtown', 'He sold the horse and saddle to the boy.' In every case the 
most usual interpretation of the word 'and' would certainly be that it formed a lump of two things 
which, taken together (e.g., 'the horse-and-saddle'), behaved in a certain way (e.g., was sold in a 
single transaction). But note that this way does not necessarily, or even very frequently, 
characterize the two things taken separately. Thus Joe may not be good at mixed doubles when 
he is teamed with anyone but Sally. 

The truth is that while the English phrase '...and jointly...' can be used to replace 'and' in each of 
these sentences, it does not occur to the ordinary English mind to do so. For the metaphysical 
orientation of English suggests no such distinction. Therefore the word 'and' does not really mean 
e in Loglan; nor does it mean ze. Instead it means some curious unresolved blending of the ideas 
of connection and mixture which are in Loglan utterly distinct. Just what this idea is, would be 

hard to describe. But it is probably a mistake to think that the Loglan distinction is implicit in 
English. It can be made, and some careful English speakers do sometimes make it; but it is 
evidently not natural in English to think about the differences between lumps of things and sets. 

But we have seen in this chapter that in Loglan the distinction between lumps or masses of 
things, on the one hand, and two or more individual things of which some same thing may be 
true or sets of things, on the other, is the most fundamental distinction in the Loglan grammar of 
arguments. And we have just now seen that the fundamental operation underlying this distinction 
is the connection of arguments with e as opposed to their consolidation into sets and teams with 
ze. Then by repeated applications of this set-forming operation with zewe arrive eventually at a 
single designation of all the butter there is. And this is exactly what we mean by lea batra. We 
then see that the distinction between lea batra and ra batra can be logically generated for every 
predicate in the language. In doing so, we become systematically alert to a very important matter 
that is only dimly felt in the natural languages. Are we talking about sets? Or about individuals 
who happen to share some property? This distinction is implicit in English at just one point: in 
the difference between the grammatical treatment of its mass and collective nouns, like 'butter' 
and 'team', and its countable nouns, like 'men' and 'books'. In Loglan this important distinction is 
fully generalized, and is available to us whenever we talk or think. 

Again we see how Loglan metaphysics is sharply different from that of English... indeed, from 
the metaphysical assumptions of all the natural tongues. For the Loglan world starts with pieces 
of butter and bits of better-than, and by successive applications of the machinery of abstraction 
and set description, all the elementary predicate notions of the language can be raised to any 
level of conceptual intricacy that we desire. At the highest levels are such familiar individuals as 
virtue and butter. But they are joined, in the Loglan view of things, by such surprising abstract 
entities as "butterness," "bookness", "enoughth-ness", and "the set of all the burrowing owls." 
Thus the Loglan world of individuals is a larger world than is commonly accessible to the natural 
tongues, for it accommodates by vastly exceeding the old. What this may finally mean for the 
observing eye and the thinking mind can only be guessed. But one thing is certain. For any given 
size of vocabulary, there will be more in Loglan to think about. 


1 Throughout this chapter I will use the word 'designate' in the approximate sense of 'purport to 
name, identify, or single out', a sense that does not entirely accord with either philosophic or 
linguistic usage (cf. Morris 1946, Carnap 1948, Ziff 1960, Quine 1961a). I do this because there 
is no well-established single word in English that permits one to refer to just this species of 
linguistic behavior, and I need to. For in the system of semantics I am about to develop, the act 
of "designation" contrasts with that of "predication," and both are ways of referring to the 
"external", i.e., non-linguistical, world. In adopting this terminological scheme, I am closest, 
among logicians, to the analyses if not the usages of Quine. The distinction he draws between 
"singular" terms and "general" ones, i.e., between that which purports to name X, and that which 
is true of X (see Quine 1961a:205ff), is very nearly what I take to be the distinction between 
designating and predicating, though my emphasis is naturally a different one. (For example, I do 
not think, as Quine does, that the former activity can be eliminated in favor of the latter.) Both 
acts refer; we would agree on that. But that they do so in entirely different ways is the main point 

of this chapter. Morris and Carnap, in contrast use 'designate' in approximately my sense of 
'refer'; Ziff uses 'refer' in approximately my sense of 'designate'; some writers use 'denote' where 

1 use 'designate'; others use 'designate' where I use 'predicate'. Still others call predicates 
"names." And the names of what? Why, of "properties", of course. In short, semantical 
terminology is in something of a muddle. There is more on this matter in Chapter 8 of Loglan 2 
(Brown 1969b). 

2 The need for toi toa and tio tao was discovered during Loglan conversations with Prof. John 
Parks- Clifford, a logician, in December 1977. 

3 If Christopher had visited the King of Spain, and we had been told that he had persuaded him 
that the Earth was round, we would be in a similar guandary. 

4 More than suffice, evidently. As mentioned in the text, experience has suggested that any three 
among the replacing variables, for example, da de do, can be assigned and kept track of in this 
"LIFO" way ("Last In, First Out"), but that assigning more than three in the course of speech is 
probably too much for the human temporary memory. Usage has added two new conventions 
since 1975 which supplement the da de di do du system. The first is to use an identifying clause 
on the first use of a fourth or later replacing variable, e.g., di ji la Pit = Y , who is Pete', a 
practice which allows one to ignore order of occurrence. The second is to use the letter variables 
discussed in Section 4.6 as abbreviations, e.g., to use fei (f) to replace le fumna, whenever the 
context gets too complicated for the da de di do du system to handle. Indeed, the use of letter 
variables already seems to be so problem- free as to suggest that it may supplant the free variable 
system entirely. Both systems are still optional. The learner may use either or both. Again we 
will "let usage decide". 

5 As remarked in Chapter 3, Note 3 , Loglan has a grammar which is in many respects like those 
of the natural pidgins and Creoles. This augers well for its possible closeness to the human 
language biogram; see Bickerton (1981). According to this writer, the similarities between child 
speech and pidgin are not accidental. 

6 A Whorfian from Mars might assume from this fact that England had the least developed class- 
system among the European nations. How wrong da would be! The English class system is 
probably the most highly developed among those of the European nations. We may be warned by 
this example of the dangers of over-simplifying Whorf's ideas. 

7 The anaphoric use of letter variables was first suggested by Stephen Smith on a visit to The 
Institute in 1979. 

8 The logical theory of descriptions, following Russell (1905), gives a slightly different account 
of these matters, namely that the description '(i)Fx' purports to name (i.e., designate) the one and 
only object of which 'F' is true, 'F' being some predicate expression which allows this 
interpretation, e.g., 'is an author of Waverly' (see, for example, Quine 1961a:222). On this 
interpretation 'the author of Waverly' (Russell's classic example) is taken to contain the covert 
claim There is an x such that x is an author of Waverly and, for any y, if y is an author of 
Waverly, then y is identical to x.' But the unigueness claim is patently false for the majority of 

expressions commencing with 'the' in everyday speech, e.g., 'the man', 'the red thing', etc. What 
is common to all such expressions is the intention of the speaker to single out however crudely 
(e.g. 'the whachamacallit') the unigue object, or set of objects, about which da has something to 
say. That such expressions use predicates is apparently misleading, for they do not use them 
predicatively; any more than names used vocatively actually name. On the view taken in this 
book, no claim whatever is made by a description. What is signified by the use of one is (among 
other things) the speaker's readiness to help the listener locate the unigue object about which da 
has something to say. We may say that this implies that da believes that such objects exist, but 
this is a different matter. No one may be accused of claiming everything that da's words imply. 
There is more on this in Loglan 2, Chapter 8 (Brown 1969b, reprinted in TL2:31-41). 

9 Marking a string of words with a leading asterisk (*) in this way will serve hereafter to notify 
the reader that the string so marked is not acceptable, either not a correct parse, or not 
grammatical, or not good usage. This one is grammatical, i.e., the utterance will parse; but it will 
not parse in this way. 

10 This intimate glimpse of the machine's rather fussy parsing behavior is probably nothing that 
human users of the language need to worry about... unless they aspire to be Loglan grammarians. 
We frankly doubt that descriptions like that in (8) will have much currency in human Loglan. It 
is, after all, an exception to the general analogical rule that "Whatever works in one context 
should work in another." The converse rule "Whatever doesn't work in one context is probably 
not worth trying in others" is probably also built into human grammar learning behavior. So 
unless we are taught by machines to make sentences like (8) it is unlikely that human users will 
ever try to make them... knowing, as they surely will, that sentences intended to parse like (7') 
always fail. Analogical rules like the one defeated here may, in fact, be guite generally invoked 
in human grammar learning. If they are, they are probably responsible for a great deal of the 
syntactic ambiguity in natural language. Scott W. Layson is responsible for this particular bit of 
grammar programming. It was done during the first, 1978-82 assault on the "macgrammatical 
mountain", the one that resulted in Notebook 1 (Brown 1982a). Its purpose was to make these 
unambiguous sentences machine intelligible... whether humans would ever be tempted to use 
them or not. An interesting scientific guestion raised by this particular provision of Loglan 
grammar is whether the analogical rule by which the use of new grammatical structures is 
extended from one context to another-sometimes leaving a trail of new ambiguities in its wake- 
is hard- wired in the human central nervous system or not? With Loglan, language scientists 
should be able to tease answers to such important guestions out. 

11 This discussion of the mass term owes much to Quine (1960) in which he makes ingenious 
use of the distinction between mass terms and general terms in discussing certain philosophical 
difficulties in the way of coming to understand totally unknown languages. In particular, Quine 
examines the difficulty that will be experienced by a philosophically wary investigator-one who 
has presented a series of different rabbits, say, to a certain informant- in deciding whether that 
informant's uniform linguistic response to this series of stimuli means that da's language has a 
general term for 'rabbit', of which da recognized each new rabbit as an instance, or whether da's 
language has only a mass term, roughly eguivalent to 'Mr. Rabbit', say, of the designatum of 
which da recognizes in each presentation simply a reappearance. Quine shows that the resolution 
of this difficulty involves linguistic transformations of a surprisingly high logical order; and that 

these, in turn, involve ontological assumptions about the language in guestion which one would 
have hoped to be among the findings, rattier than the presuppositions, of linguistic inguiry. My 
own reflections on this matter persuade me that in the mass term/general term distinction we are 
probably dealing with a fundamental biological feature of the human speech 
apparatus... differently exploited in learning different languages, to be sure, but always there. For 
example, my own observations of the speech behavior of very young (pre-English speaking) 
children suggests that the mass term may be developmentally the earliest semantic mechanism to 
appear in human speech behavior-far earlier, for example, than the mastery of the detailed use 
of mass terms as a special class of nouns in English-and that it is, therefore, the meaning of the 
general term that is ontogenetically secondary in the biological development of the human 
semantic scheme. Goodman (1951) also discusses the "arbitrary" ways in which the primitive 
predicate may be invested with meaning under a wide variety of ontological schemes. On this 
view, the basic semantic mechanism of Loglan could have been a Trobriand-style 'X is a 
manifestation of Mr. Y .' type of predicate relation rather than the, to us, "simpler" semantic 
relation between designations of particular concrete individuals and some general term ('X is an 
instance of Y '). The same considerations apply to the difference between "abstract" and 
"concrete" predicate meanings. Thus we could have invested the unadorned Loglan predicate 
with the abstract meaning that is in fact its meaning now with po and pu. The concrete particular 
meaning we now hold simple would in that case be derived from some grammatically complex 
operation on the linguistically "simpler" notion of an event or guality. Such hypothetical 
languages are fascinating to contemplate; but the choice among them may be more than a 
pragmatic one, and actually turn out to be partly rooted in some intractable streak of Nature that, 
by evolving us to do so, "insists" that we first regard her from some particular, favored side. For 
the mechanism of that "insistence" could, of course, only be the evolution of the rewarding 
apparatus in language-using animals so as to favor just that side. There is more on the lo operator 
and its ontological implications in Brown (1977a). 

12 Strong guotation began with J. S. Prothero's (1979) suggestion and was further developed by 

13 The designative use of guotation marks in English should not be confused with their use to 
serve notice on the reader that certain words or phrases are being used non- literally, i.e., "horror" 
guotes, as they are sometimes called. Thus, a pair of horror guotes (double-guotes in my idiolect) 
appears around the word 'horror' in the preceding sentence, while a genuinely designative use of 
(single) guotes appears around the same word in this one. To perform the notice-serving function 
of guotation marks in English, there is another operator, namely the metaphorizer jo, which has 
the function of marking figurative expressions, especially on the first occasion of their use in 
some passage or discourse; for more on jo and kin, see Loglan 6. 

14 Single word guotation with liu was proposed by William Mengarini in (1977c). See Brown 
( 1 979f) for further development. 

15 The appeal of nonsense to logicians is curiously widespread and in some cases monumental 
(for example, in Lewis Carroll). The affinity is not accidental. It is often nonsense that reveals 
the logical structure of ideas most nakedly. One test of a logical language, then, is that in it one 
should be able to speak nonsensically and still be understood. Thus if I want to say that John is a 

short word I do not wish the blind forces of "common sense" and "usage" to defeat me whichever 
way I turn this phrase. 

16 These French quotation-marks have the advantage over the English ones of being clearly 
directional. As this is a useful feature in analyzing quotations within quotations, I have adopted 
them. Note that li and lu ; being distinct words, are also "directional". 

17 Or at least they are in all languages of which we know; but see Note 11, above, for 
considerations which argue the logical possibility of languages in which such abstract mass 
individuals are the elementary objects of the linguistic scheme, and hence elementary to just such 
hypothetical "minds" as had been exclusively exposed to such languages. Whether human minds 
would react in this way to such exposure is, of course, a biological question of some interest. 

18 Quine (1958) offers an interesting conjecture as to how abstract singular terms might 
originate by analogy with concrete ones as a solution to one of the ontological problems of the 
child. Supposing (as seems likely) that children commence their linguistic careers with an 
ontology, i.e., a view of existence, which sees the world as composed of mass individuals and 
their reappearances (Mummy, Hunger, Warmth, and the like), and graduate to countable objects 
and general terms (boys, dogs, glasses of water, and the like); there would then emerge the 
ontological problem of what kind of individuals "stand behind" those general terms which have 
spotty, streaky or superficial manifestations, like 'is red'. For a red thing is not red clean through, 
as a boy is a boy clean through and as every drop of water is wet. Quine suggests, therefore, that 
on analogy with some word like 'water', which survives ontologically as the mass individual Mr. 
Water lurking behind the predicate 'is water', a new individual Mr. Red is mistakenly conjured up 
to be the simple, concrete massif ication of the predicate 'is red'. Mistakenly, because in fact the 
mass individual composed of all red things is not all red, as water is all water, but mostly white 
(apples), pink (Injuns), green (plums), and so on; and of course the child knows this. So what the 
child really means to designate by the mass term 'red', in such sentences as 'Red is my favorite 
color', is not the same kind of mass individual da alludes to in 'Water is my favorite drink.' 
Instead, it is the abstract mass individual composed of all the red parts, spots, or streaks of red 
by virtue of which red things are red, the same individual we designate in Loglan with lopu 
redro. Hence attributes arise on the basis of a false analogy; and red becomes as "pure" and 
"liquid" a thing as water is, though oddly less substantial, by virtue of the shifting ontological 
scenery in the child's mind. 

19 Another clarifying provision is the pause rule that distinguishes the compound operator lepo 
and kin from the corresponding phrases le po and kin with which they might sometimes be 
confused. Le po phrases are rare but when they do occur are always distinguished by internal 
pauses which lepo and kin never show. For example, the phrase le po in (i) le po sucmi ditca = 
'the swimming teacher (i.e., a teacher of the activity of swimming)' is always pronounced with a 
pause between the le and the po, and, in addition, the le is often stressed. Thus 
/LE.poSUCmiDITca/ is a typical utterance of (i). In contrast, both syllables of the word lepo are 
usually unstressed and there is never a pause between them. The utterance /lepoSUCmiDITca/ 
therefore uniquely resolves as (ii) lepo sucmi ditca = '(the state of) being a swim(mer) teacher, 
i.e., a teacher of swimmers', which is a much more common way of speaking in Loglan. 
Expressions like (i) are said to involve short-scope po, for in them, the force of abstraction 

extends over exactly one predicate, the next predicate word. Expressions like (ii) are said to 
involve long-scope -po, for in them the force of the abstraction runs over the entire sentence 
serving as title operand of the event description. When short-scope po occurs non-initially in a 
predicate string, as in (iii) le corta po sucmi ditca = 'The short swimming- event teacher' (i.e. a 
teacher of swimming-events of short duration), no pause is reguired: /leCORtapoSUCmiDITca/. 
It is only when short-scope po follows a descriptor that it needs to be set off from that descriptor 
by an intervening pause. Other stress patterns than those described here are, of course, guite 

20 This move may have some bearing on the phenomenon that Quine calls "referential opacity" 
(1961b:139ff). For example, when recast with a Loglan-like event-description the troublesome 
sentence 'Philip believes that the capital of Honduras is in Nicaragua' (p.141) becomes 'Philip 
believes that the state of affairs of the capital of Honduras being in Nicaragua obtains.' This 
second formulation relieves Philip of the responsibility of ever having listened to, or uttered, 
such a remark, and yet clearly designates the non- existent object in which Philip believes. How 
different this is from a third formulation: 'Philip believes that the sentence The capital of 
Honduras is in Nicaragua' is true.'! About this third sentence, we should certainly agree with 
Quine that its deduction from 'Philip believes that the sentence Tegucigalpa is in Nicaragua' is 
true' and the true identity Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras' is not justified. But contexts 
within guotation marks are always and everywhere referentially opague. But are descriptions 
always similarly opague? Clearly not. For 'the village ten miles north of Tegucigalpa' and 'the 
village ten miles north of the capital of Honduras' both succeed, for a person in possession of this 
identity, in designating the same presumably existent thing. The difficulty that is residual in 
Philip's believing in the object we have designated 'the state of affairs of the capital of Honduras 
being in Nicaragua' is that it is non-existent; and how indeed do we locate such objects for the 
sake of testing the truth of sentences in which their designations occur? This is, of course another 
and a guite different problem; but certainly it is not incapable of solution. For how do we 
determine whether or not Philip believes in the flatness of the Earth, or in the flights of Pegasus? 
We ask him; and in doing so we do not have first to locate a flat Earth or a winged horse to 
present to him; for a picture or a model, or even a carefully constructed sentence delineating this 
non-existent thing, will clearly do for ascertaining the truth or falsity of any claim that da 
believes in it. 

21 For humans. The ga-rule is not awkward for machines. The machine grammar sees ga as just 
another allolex of the PA Lexeme. Machines will observe that human speakers evidently use it 
when they have no particular time or place or mode in mind but want to mark their predicate 
expressions anyway. (The motive of the mark-using speaker may remain unknown to the 
machine.) The machine would not regard the use of ga when contextually unnecessary as 
ungrammatical, or even odd. Thus, *Da ga mrenu is a perfectly grammatical expression to the 
machine. (If you have LIP-the "Loglan Interactive Parser"-try it. It will parse. But I have 
starred it because it is bad usage.. .from the point of view of human users of the language.) That 
in fact human speakers, being sensitive to such matters, do not produce such unnecessarily 
marked sentences is a distributional matter, a matter of usage, not grammar. Machines may 
remain context- insensitive, in short, and still parse the productions of context-sensitive human 
beings. When our machines begin to speak Loglan back to us, we may of course then teach them 
whatever humanoid practices we wish them to observe. When we do that, we will perforce be 

teaching them a kind of context- sensitivity. For in a certain sense all usages are context-sensitive 
in that they are selected by the user as appropriate to the contexts in which they are to appear. 

22 The noun/verb distinction does this work in English, as in all the Indo-European languages. 
Thus the distinction made with various English suffixes between the description 'the man singer' 
and the sentence 'The man sings' is made in Loglan by the presence or absence of the predicate 
marker ga: Le mrenu gritu vs. Le mrenu ga gritu. From this and similar experiments it 
emerges that the chief syntactical work of the noun- verb and adjective- verb distinctions in the 
natural languages may be to distinguish the predicative from the designative parts of sentences. 
The PA operators and the LE and NI operators do this work in Loglan, and, as in Da preda, they 
may be omitted when no ambiguity can arise. 

23 See Brown (1977a) for an informal discussion of the ontology of the lo-operator. 

24 Technically, we might say that the description 'my book' uses the vague claim that there exists 
a two-place, or higher order, predicate P such that I and my book are apparently related by P, in 
the same non-committal way that it uses the explicit claim that my book is apparently a book. 
Thus the listener is helped to locate my book by a conjunction of two presumable predicate 
relations: one vague but with a specified second argument, the other concrete but unspecified. 

25 Work on the special designators may be found in Darwin (1978a), Rosenberger (1978) and 
Brown (1979c,d). 

26 One counts in Loglan either by separating the integers by the continuation connective I (see 
Section 5.1 ), as Ne. I to. I te (/NE.iTO.iTE/) means literally 'One. And two. And three' or by 
pausing between the guantifiers: ne, to, te (/ So the word netote cannot be heard, as 
English 'one-two-three' might, as a short burst of counting instead of the integer '123'. 

27 There is more on the guantification privileges of various kinds of descriptions in Rosenberger 
(1978) and Brown (1979c). 

28 Indefinite description has had a checkered history in Loglan. The first widely published 
account of the language, the 1960 Scientific American article (Brown 1960), included a provision 
for speaking universals and existentials by indefinite description much as is here described. But 
six years later this option had already been removed from the language. It had been replaced in 
Brown (1966), the first book on the language and the 1st Edition of this one, by the reguirement 
that the guantificational machinery of modern logic always be used. The latter option had been 
present in 1960 but was not obligatory. So, as early as 1966, expressions such as Ra humni ga 
razdou had been outlawed and were to be replaced by expressions like Raba humni, noa 
razdou ('Every something x is human only if it reasons'). (The latter sentence is still good 
Loglan and its construction will be explained in Section 4.30 .) Indefinite description reappeared 
after a 21-year absence in Notebook 3 (Brown 1987). My reasons for reinstalling it were three- 
fold: (1) Learners whose native languages include indefinite articles used the corresponding 
Loglan words (su and ne) in indefinite descriptions anyway, whether it was "grammatical" for 
them to do so or not. (2) Translating natural language texts that contained indefinite articles into 
a style of Loglan that eschewed them often imposed an alien formality on those texts. Without 

indefinite description, the translater had to render all instances of existential and universal claims 
by the heavily logical- ized Loglan forms. For example, da would have to replace every 
genuinely existential 'a' in an English text with a ba jio-clause ('something x which is a...') and 
every 'all' with raba ...noa ('every something x is.. .only if...'). Such a reguirement, if adhered to, 
would certainly mar Loglan's performance as a translation instrument. But (3) guite the most 
important consideration was the fact that Loglan had become, since 1975, a language of 
optionalities. It is fair to say that Loglan is now not so much a logical language as one in which 
the option of "talking logic" elegantly and swiftly is available to the speaker should da wish to 
use it. Moreover, logicality-alogicality is not the only pair of stylistic choices now built into the 
language. There has always been the optionality of its tense system, for example; and there are 
now optional case tags. Y et the existence of a system of case- tags (which may be found in 
Section 4.31 ) in no way interferes with the basic caselessness of the unadorned Loglan argument. 
This, like the egually basic tenselessness of its unadorned predicates, remains as it was before the 
case option was added. I believe (but cannot of course yet know) that the logicality function will 
be similarly unimpaired by the side- by-side existence of pre-logical linguistic forms. Besides, 
each option-pair is, in effect, a provision for running a natural experiment. The existence of the 
fully logicalized but nevertheless speakable ba and raba forms alongside the evolutionarily 
older, and hence more natural, su and ra forms will provide for just one more such experiment, 
in this case a vital one for the Whorf hypothesis. Does the use in speech of logicalized verbal 
forms, like the predicate calculus, facilitate the thinking of the speakers? Or hinder it? Who 
chooses to use these logical devices? Under what circumstances? We would like to know. With a 
fully optionalized experimental language such as Loglan now is, it ought to be possible to find 

29 The use of the syllable /ra/ as the guantifier word meaning 'all' and also as the numerical 
suffix meaning '-some' or '-ad' may seem to introduce homonyms into the language. But the 
grammar is so arranged that these two uses of the same syllable will never be confused. For 
example, the word ra can never follow a number word; so if /ra/ is heard after a number word it 
is not the word ra but the suffix -ra one is hearing. Semantically, the two uses of /ra/ are related. 
The cardinal number of a set is found by counting all its members. 

30 Alternatively this could be said by first making the complex predicate fergalno from fe + r + 
galno; whence Ta fergalno veslo = That's a five-gallon container.' Loglanists have not yet faced 
such situations freguently enough to have developed distinct preferences for one form over 

31 Again the guantifier ri meaning 'several' and the ordinal suffix -ri have non-overlapping 
distributions, and so will never be confused. 

32 This is true of the broad group of languages of which I and my manuscript readers know. But 
I would be most grateful if a reader who knows of one which uses this order would apprise me. 

33 The system of measurement statements described in this section was, in all essentials, 
proposed by Scott W. Layson in (1979). See also Brown (1980c) for additional development. 

34 Lae and sae were proposed by William Mengarini in (1976) and further discussed by John 
Parks-Clifford in (1980b:48-50). 

35 Me was invented in early 1978 during the stay at The Institute of Scott W. Layson. Itwas he 
who coined the figure that there had been "a me-shaped hole in the language" . Me was first 
described in TL2:114 in February 1978 and further discussed by Parks-Clifford (1980b:20-21). 

36 Note that Ba pa ditka mi lemi barma ('Something bit me on my arm') makes the same claim 
completely as the incomplete form Mi pa nu ditka ('I was bitten') makes, and that this last 
statement contains no reference to the biter at all. But in fact all incomplete forms of multiplace 
positive predicates implicitly claim the existence of at least one whole set of participants in the 
predicated relationship even though some of them remain unmentioned. Thus Mi vedma ('I sell') 
is ; strictly speaking, an abbreviation of Mi vedma ba be bo ('I sell something to someone for 
something') and may be so expanded when desired. Sentences with negative predicates, on the 
other hand, reguire universally guantified non- designating variables for their completion; see 
Note 37 below. Thus Mi no vedma becomes Mi no vedma raba rabe rabo ('I do not sell 
anything to anyone at any price'); see Section 5.25 on negative sentences for further discussion 
of this point. 

37 The logician will miss the existential guantifier in these expressions. In the language of 
logicians (1) would normally be rendered '(Ex)Fxy', in which '(Ex)' is the existential guantifier 
and may be read There is an x such that'; (2) by '(Ex)(Ey)Fxy'; and so on; for example as in the 
notation of Quine (1961). If we really are to "talk symbolic logic" in speaking Loglan, why not 
follow this well-established linguistic route? But Loglan is a spoken language, not a notation 
meant for visual inspection, nor yet a way of reading notational expressions aloud; for surely this 
is the origin of the logician's version of spoken English. In every spoken language the most 
freguently used expressions have the briefest forms, and the existential claim is surely one of the 
most freguently used devices in the natural languages.. .more freguent, for example, than 
universals. We should expect this rule to hold in Loglan, too. Therefore we set aside a series of 
"non-designating" variables to be used exclusively with guantified sentences in Loglan and say 
that any unguantified instance of such a variable implicitly expresses the existential claim, while 
any instance of such a variable preceded by the guantifier ra ('all') implicitly expresses the 
universal claim; there is more on the Loglan system of implicit guantification in Section 5.24 on 
guantified sentences. 

38 Logicians, but not other people, are likely to feel that this sentence reguires explicit mention 
of an existential guantifier with sentence-long scope, as in schema (i) '(Ex)(Fx • Gx)', in order to 
distinguish it from the two short-scope guantifiers of schema (ii) '(Ex)Fx • (Ex)Gx'. For if it were 
an instance of (ii) as ordinarily interpreted by logicians-say by Quine (1961)-then the discovery 
that there was something x that was a man and something else x that came would satisfy the 
claim of (7) in a way that is plainly contrary to our intention. But we construe (7) in such a way 
that it does not reguire this embellishment; for recurring instances of any given non- designating 
variable in the same Loglan sentence are all taken to refer to the same indefinite someone or 
something. Thus ba implicitly recurs in (7), for (7) may be expanded into the connected sentence 
(7a) Ba mrenu, ice ba pa kamla (literally, 'x is a man; and x came') by means of the sentence 
connective ice which we have not come to yet (see Section 5.23 on connected sentences); but the 

two instances of ba which occur in it may not be interpreted as referring to different objects. If 
we want to make the distinction in Loglan which is imputed to the difference between schemata 
(i) and (ii) in contemporary logic, we must use different variables: (7b) Ba mrenu ice be pa 
kamla (literally 'x is a man and y came'). The Loglan convention here is that while ba and be do 
not have to be distinct somethings, they may be. Again note that it is the more interesting of the 
two claims (7a) and (7b) that can be more briefly said in Loglan. We should also note that these 
arrangements necessitate some changes in the schematization of logical law as applied to Loglan; 
thus, for Loglan sentences, schemata (i) and (ii) are eguivalent, and a third schema (iii) '(Ex)Fx • 
(Ey)Gy' would have to be introduced to accommodate their former difference. As far as I know, 
the other adjustments are egually harmless; but the matter has not been studied exhaustively. 

39 To see that the word 'man' in A man came' does make some kind of claim against the world- 
and is therefore not a designation-suppose that we found out, by exhaustive search, that only 
one thing came and that one thing was a woman. Would we not then regard our previous remark 
A man came' as false? This contrasts rather strikingly with the fate of 'The man came' under the 
same circumstances; for in that case all we should care about would be whether the woman that 
came was in fact the person designated by the speaker whether camouflaged or not. 

40 The very least that we should reguire of a designation is that it function, even if temporarily, 
as a name: that is, that there be exactly one thing or set of things about which the speaker is 
saying whatever da is saying and of which some portion of da's speech functions as a verifiable 
label. 'John came' says the speaker. 'Is this John?' we ask, working our way down the list of 
Johns. Somewhere, sometime the speaker must say yes; for there must be at least a guasi-John 
which satisfies da's intentions. For if there is not, da is not playing the two-handed game we have 
here called "designation" according to its rules. Now names, descriptions, and the free, 
demonstrative and personal variables all satisfy this strict behavioral criterion. Words like 
'someone', however, do not. If we make the mistake of thinking that they do and ask of someone 
who says 'Someone came', 'Is this someone?' we may be told yes or no indiscriminately with 
every presentation; for everyone we present is someone and no one we present will be the 
intended someone the speaker "has in mind." In short, the speaker has made a zero-order 
designation: a most peculiar and powerful maneuver which enables da to predicate something of 
the world without committing daself to locating anything in it. That so fastidious an act should 
lurk behind every "universal" claim is one of the most curious and far-reaching discoveries of 
modern logic. 

41 This explains why 'someone' and 'something' are among the favorite words of children. 
'Someone broke it' gives nothing away. Closely related is the strange intransitive sense of such 
verbs as '(to) break' in such sentences as 'It broke', which is a kind of suppressed passive: 'It was 
broken by someone or something (and I'm not saying who or what).' 

42 Again we assume that the implicit guantifier has sentence- long scope, i.e., that sentence (11) 
is an instance of schema (i) (x)(Fx --> Gx) and not of schema (ii) (x)Fx --> (x)Gx, see Note 38 
above. For the system of implicit guantification foreshadowed here, see Section 5.24 . 

43 In 1975 Loglan the word raba was the phrase ra ba. In this it was like the phrase le po, one 
of whose senses also ascended to wordhood during this period while another retained the 

meaning of a distinct two-word phrase. I do not yet know what causes some phrases to become 
words while other, even very common phrases do not. One is haunted by the evident histories of 
such natural words as 'nevertheless' and 'understand'. By what process do these strings of once- 
separable elements consolidate and become, to speakers of that language, single items in the 
speechflow? I have no idea what is happening here. But with Loglan, we will probably have a 
chance to observe this event fairly freguently. It has already occurred more than once. 

44 The argument for preserving the logicality- alogicality option in Loglan is summarized in Note 

45 Such as no...a... ; as in Raba no mrenu, a mitro titci ('Each something is a non-man or a 
meat- eater'). 

46 This is not an accident. Whenever a complete English predicate may be expressed with 

unmarked arguments, such as 'give' may be in ' ', we have adopted that order as the 

dictionary order of the places of the corresponding Loglan predicate. In these cases we have 
learned our lesson, as it were, about the behavior of unmarked arguments from this one natural 
language. The operative word, however, is 'complete'. Very few multiplace English predicates 
can be completely expressed without prepositions. So for these far more numerous cases, other 
considerations have been used to determine the dictionary order of the corresponding Loglan 
predicates; see Brown (1969b, Ch.9) reprinted in TL1 :101-9. 

47 Linguists will recognize in this tagging system a means of translating the sentences of any 
natural language into Loglan in unaltered order. By tagging them, the elements in the source 
sentence may be kept in their original order no matter what the order type of the source language 
is. For example, specimen (15) might translate a sentence from a VSO language ("Verb- Subject- 
Object"); specimen (13), a sentence from an SOV language; while specimen (10) is in fact a 
translation from our own SVO language. Loglan- normal word order is SVO as well, of course, 
because that order is the normal (unmarked) order in the languages spoken by 83% of Loglan's 
"source population", i.e., 83% of the speakers of the eight most populous languages of the world; 
see Brown (1969b), Ch.6, The Word-Order Problem, reprinted in TL1: 54-61. Still, it is important 
to note that once again Loglan's pervasive optionality makes departure from these statistical 
norms guite easy. Loglan may be spoken in either of the other two standard word orders, VSO or 
SOV, if one chooses.. .in fact, in any of the three abnormal orders OVS, VOS and OSV (in which 
the object precedes the subject) as well. Again Loglan has made an important, and this time 
highly variable, feature of the natural languages plainly imitable; and it has done this without 
departing from our rule of keeping the weight of the disambiguation burden on the Loglan 
listener at precisely zero. 

48 The Loglan case system was developed during the years 1984-87 and announced in Brown 
(1987). Developmental studies were performed during those years by a visiting Latinist, who 
wishes to remain anonymous, by my daughter, Jennifer Fuller Brown, and by myself. With 
optional cases we hope to be able to test Fillmore's (1968) theory on the naturalness of case, as 
well as to solve certain practical problems of everyday Loglan speech that have arisen since 
1975. ..problems which in a small way tend to confirm Fillmore's theory. But obviously more 
systematic observations are reguired. 

49 We predict that this will be true in Loglan as well. This is because the negative clause of the 
noa-sentence will have gone past by the time the infixed noa (no + a) appears. So the listener 
must go back over the clause da has just heard as a positive one in order to re-understand it as 
negated. In anoi- sentences the clause to be negated still lies ahead when the no- bearing 
connective appears, so no back-parsing is reguired. This observation is due to John Parks- 
Clifford (personal communication). 

50 I suspect that this is true in English as well. But as English usage alternates rather less 
decisively between what I am calling "marked" and "unmarked" connected forms, it is difficult 
to be sure what unmarked strings of English connectives mean. 

51 The system of marked connectives described in this and earlier sections differs from the 1975 
system in ways proposed by John Parks- Clifford in (1980:59-62). 

52 It will probably be clear by this time that I am using the notion of sameness of claim in the 
logician's sense of having the same truth-values under all imaginable circumstances. Thus any 
given claim may be expressed in many ways; but however it is expressed, the truth-values of any 
pair of those ways will remain the same under any given set of circumstances, and this will be 
true of all of its expressions under all sets of circumstances. So construed, sameness of claim is 
obviously not the same as sameness of meaning; nor is it a condition that we yet know how to 
measure empirically. Unfortunately linguists have so far not developed behavioral criteria by 
which to assess either of these matters. So we are as yet confined to the analytic methods of 
philosophers if we are to talk about what a sentence claims at all. Most linguists, of course, 
choose the Draconian horn of this dilemma and banish the topic altogether. There is, however, no 
escaping the problem of what a sentence "claims" if we are to talk about what happens to 
meaning under the transformations generally called logical. 

53 In fact they must be exported before any implicit guantifiers may be made explicit; see 
Sections 5.24 and 5.25 on guantified and negative sentences. 

54 Sentences with non-designative arguments may be converted if and only if all such arguments 
are of the same type (all universal or all existential) and sign (all positive or all negative). 

55 This is a special case of the "rule of reversal" given in Section 5.25 . By that rule, if a sentence 
contains no non- designating arguments, the signs of both the sentence and its predicate may be 
simultaneously reversed. Thus a positive sentence with a negative predicate may be transformed 
into a negative sentence with a positive predicate; and this is exportation. 

C hapter 5 

5.1 Utterances and Speeches 

One of the ancient prejudices of grammarians is that grammar has to do with sentences, and that 
portions of speech that are not sentences are somehow not grammatical. While it may be true that 
some formal writing is composed entirely of sentences, speech is not. Greetings, guestions, 
answers, commands, reguests and replies bulk larger in the flow of actual speech than those 
neatly formed statements of fact or opinion that are the writer's stock-in-trade. Obviously, if 
Loglan is to be a spoken language, we must provide for the bits and pieces of ordinary speech as 
well as the more formal speech- forms with which ordinary grammar deals. Let us call these bits 
and pieces, whether they are sentences or not, the utterances of the language. 

But the utterance is not the largest unit of speech. Some passages of speech- like reports, recipes 
or narrations-consist of strings of utterances each of which could have ended the message had 
the speaker chosen to stop there. 

(1)1 saw it there. It was under a tree. Joe was standing right next to it. I don't 
know what happened to it then. 

In this report, there are three points at which the speaker could have stopped but didn't. In a 
certain sense, the report consists of a string of utterances each of which could have stood alone. 
Let us call such larger units of continued utterance speeches. A speech is not over until the 
speaker who is making it yields the floor, so to speak. On the other hand, what we are calling 
speeches might well be taken to correspond to what we mark off as paragraphs in writing. It is 
whatever occurs between the real starts and stops in either speech or writing. 

Loglan is by design an isomorphic language. The forms of speech and writing must correspond 
to one another in sufficient detail so that the essential features of each can be generated from the 
other. So the first thing we reguire in the management of speeches is a sign by which to know 
where the constituent utterances in them end. We will sometimes need a sign to mark the end of 
the last (or only) utterance in a speech or paragraph, but usually we will not. 

Every language has at least one end-of-utterance sign. English has several. The one it uses to 
mark the end of declarative sentences is a fall in pitch. The last syllable is also often lengthened 
or drawn-out, but is not necessarily louder. This pattern of tone and pace change is usually, but 
not always, followed by a pause before the speaker continues. If you speak speech (1) aloud you 
are very likely to hear all these signs in the neighborhoods of the words 'there.' 'tree.' 'it.' and 
'then.' This is the most common of the English end-of-utterance signs. There are several others. 

In Loglan the single end-of-utterance sign is the continuation connective I. Instead of being a 
feature of the utterance being ended, however, I is the first word of the following utterance. Like 
other vowel-initial words, I is always preceded by a pause. In Loglan we use the pause followed 
by an I-word to mark the ends of all utterances that are not final in their speeches. Since there is, 
of course, no utterance following the last one in a speech its end need not be marked. 

(2) la. I mi pa vizka da va. I da pa nilca Y es. I saw it there. (And) It was 
ne tricu under a tree. 

/IA .imipaVIZkadaV A .idapaNILcaneTRIcu/ 

Y ou may speak this little speech with any intonation whatever, or with none. That is to say, you 
may choose to accompany it with your English end- of- sentence sign, or with no tone or pace 
variation at all. All that is reguired for a listening loglanist-or a properly programmed computer- 
-to understand that the utterances la and I mi pa vizka da va are over is that they are followed 
by pauses followed by the word I. ..or, as we shall see in a moment, by one of its many kin. 

The lexemic kin of I are all little word compounds made with leading I followed pauselessly by 
one of a privileged set of words which adhere to it in this way. For example, Ibuo [ee-BOO-oh] 
is made from I + buo. By itself buo means 'however' or 'but'. So Ibuo is simply the utterance- 
initial and so capitalized form of the same word: 'However' or 'But'. I-words are of course also 
preceded by pauses and terminate the preceding utterances just as I does. 

(3) la. I mi pa vizka da va. Ibuo da pa Y es. I saw it there. However, it 
nilca ne tricu was under a tree. 

/IA. imipaVIZkadaV A. iBUodapaNILcaneTRIcu/ 

Notice that the pauses that precede I and Ibuo are represented in text by a period followed by a 
space. This is the pause-period, as we will call it to distinguish it from the pause-comma with 
which we are already familiar. Pause- periods tend to be a little longer in speech than pause- 
commas. However, pause length is a matter of personal style. No length difference need be 
maintained for the clarity of the language. The capital I-word that always follows the pause- 
period is what distinguishes it from the pause-comma. 

I has more distant lexemic relatives- such as the logical sentence connectives like icanoi [ee- 
shah-noy] 'if --that are not capitalized in text. The pauses that mark these "weaker" utterance 
breaks are pause-commas. In the typical idiolect the pauses that precede these lower-case i-words 
are somewhat shorter. They are always marked by commas instead of periods in text: 

(4) Mi pa vizka da va, icanoi da pa nilca I saw it there if it was under a 
ne tricu tree. 


This is counted as one utterance in English and two utterances- although closely connected ones- 
-in Loglan. We shall see later that for certain logical purposes- for example, the reckoning of 

operator scope--the Loglan logic understander will treat this specimen as a single utterance. But 
the parser treats it as a pair. 

Thus the complete story of the end-of-utterance sign in Loglan is that it is always [. ee] in speech 
and either ', i-' or '. I-' in text. That is all. No tone or pacing change is reguired, although any may 
be used. 

There is just one more thing to consider. As hinted above, the '. I' seguence in Loglan text does 
not translate all English periods, but only those which occur within speeches. For example, it 
translates the first two periods in the English portion of speech (3) but not the third: 

(3') Y es. I saw it there. However, it was under a tree. 

There is no Loglan word that signals the end of a speech, or the point where a speech might be 
continued but is not. The speaker simply stops. Certainly the mark for continuation could not be 
used, and that is what I really is. When an utterance is over in spoken Loglan, silence reigns. Or 
another voice begins. In written Loglan, that silence or the start of that "other voice" is often 
signalled by a carriage return followed by an indentation, or by a carriage return alone, or by a 
pair of carriage returns (which amount to a skipped line), or by some other textual convention. 
When such end-of-speech-or- paragraph cues threaten to be ambiguous, or to take too much 
space, a cross-hatch (#) may be used. Thus the Loglan of (3) could be shown textually as: 

(3") la. I mi pa vizka da va. Ibuo da pa nilca ne tricu# 

/IA .imipaV IZkadaV A .iB UodapaNILcaneTRIcu/ 

and the cross-hatch (the standard linguistic sign for silence) could then serve to concatenate 
speech into even larger units of language, say discourse, just as the period- plus-I-word 
concatenates utterances into speeches. 

But notice that the cross-hatch does not stand for any spoken word or other sound in the speech- 
stream. It stands for silence, a voice-change, the end of a paragraph or message. Whether cross- 
hatches (or some other graphic sign) will gain currency as end-of- paragraph marks in written 
Loglan is difficult to predict. The important point is that Loglan speeches, whether composed of 
more than one utterance or not, are the natural units of both speech and writing, and therefore 
probably also of thought, and as such, their ends will be naturally known. 

Logically, of course, the utterance concatenator I that forges utterances into speeches is just 
another version of the conjunction e ('and'). We might call it the strong conjunction that occurs 
between sentences as opposed to the weak conjunction that occurs within them. But apart from 
matters of scope the logical force of I is the same as that of e. For whoever uses I between the 
two utterances in a speech evidently means to utter both independently; and this, had da thought 
about it beforehand, is often what da could have said with e or ice or Thus I is logically 
the sign of an afterthought, of an essentially unplanned continuation of speech. One may, of 
course, change one's mind about the truth of what one has already said. But this is not usually the 
sense of I. 

A final point. We have noted that I cannot meaningfully terminate an utterance. For to signify to 
one's listener that one means to keep talking and then fail to do so is ungrammatical, in the broad 
sense that it sets up expectations that are not then fulfilled. But I may initiate an utterance. And it 
does so with a very clear sense indeed. Suppose John says: 

(5) Mi pa vizka da va I saw it there. 


and stops. And then Pete adds: 

(6) I da pa nilca le tricu And it was under the tree. 


Pete evidently means to supply a continuation, not of his own, but of John's original remark. And 
why not? But are (5) and (6) then one speech? Or two? It hardly matters.. .one speech with two 
voices or two speeches which might have been one. Arbitrarily we will say that they constitute 
two speeches and that the voice- change marks the break. But this admits the possibility that 
speeches may commence with I. And so they may. 

We will in the main confine ourselves in the rest of this book to examining the structure of 
single-utterance speeches, or, what amounts to the same thing, to uncontinued utterances. This is 
because our understanding of the structure of human discourse, or the explication of the 
relationships between the utterances that comprise a speech- -except for the logical ones between 
adjacent utterances- is not well-developed scientifically, and is in any case beyond the scope of 
at least this edition of this book. Accordingly we will use the word 'utterance' in what follows to 
designate either a single-utterance speech or an I- marked portion of a speech. 1 

5.2 Utterance Types and Ingredients 

The two principal ingredients of Loglan utterances are, of course, the predicates and arguments 
whose grammar was developed in Chapters 3 and 4, and the three principal types of utterances 
are sentences, answers and imperatives. As we have already seen, many utterances consist 
exclusively of these two ingredients. For example, the minimal sentence is one composed of an 
argument followed by a predicate: 

( 1 ) L a D j an, ditca J ohn is a teacher. 


The minimal answer is an argument: 

(2) LaDjan John. 


And the minimal imperative is a predicate: 

(3) Ditca Be a teacher! 


Both imperatives and sentences may of course be followed by one or more sutori (from Loglan 
su + to + ri) arguments: 

(4) Ditca lo numsensi [noom-SEN-see] lo Teach mathematics (number- 
friki science) to the Africans. 


(5) La Djan ; ditca lo numsensi John is a teacher of mathematics 


As suggested, single- argument utterances like (2) are normally the answers to guestions. For 
example, Hu ditca numsensi lo friki = 'Who teaches mathematics to the Africans?' or Hu merji 
la Selis = 'Who is married to Sally?' The answer to either guestion might be La Djan = 'John.' 
Later in this chapter we will see how to make guestions like these. But we already know how to 
make the answers. 

Arguments spoken or written as utterances may also specify the topics of discussion or the titles 
of books. But notice that the latter are always answers to implied guestions. Hu nu perti levi 
bukcu = 'What's this book about?' you ask yourself as you pick it up and look. (Literally, 'What 
is pertained to by this book?). Or in better loglandical word-order, Levi bukcu ga perti hu = 
'This book is about what?' One answer is the one you might see printed on its cover in a 
loglandian bookstore: La mela Peloponesos po Dorja = 'The Peloponnesian War.' Thus titles 
are almost always constructed as argument forms. 

Utterances like (3) and (4), however, which commence with, or are composed only of, predicate 
expressions, are always imperatives: Ditca = 'Be a teacher!'; Gudbi botci = 'Be a good boy! 1 ; 
Gancu = 'Be a winner!'.. .in short, 'Win!' In other words, imperatives in Loglan are nothing but 
sentences without first arguments. No inflection or other marking is reguired. 

The fourth type of utterance are those treated by the parser as strings of separate utterances but 
by our logic understander as strings of connected utterances. The utterances connected may be 
sentences or imperatives. The connectives involved may be either keks-which may be used to 
connect utterances as well as utterances parts-or the weak type of i-word in which i itself is not 
capitalized and which is preceded by a comma- pause. For example, 

(6) Ditca da, icanoi tu djano da Teach it if you know it. 


is logically a single utterance, a connected one in which the connectands could be separate 
utterances but aren't. In contrast, 

(7) Ditca da. Ikii [ee-KEE-ee] tu djano da Teach it. Clearly you know it. 


is a pair of utterances. They are concatenated--i.e ; strung together as part of the same speech- by 
the I-word Ikii. So in (6) and (7) we encounter a third ingredient, the connectors, to add to the 
arguments and predicates of which minimal sentences, answers and imperatives are made. 

So we now have four types of utterances and three types of ingredients. Any of these utterances 
may be embellished or elaborated in various ways, and the embellishments themselves may be 
spoken as separate utterances. Two further kinds of utterance ingredients are involved in this 
embellishing work. They are modifiers and punctuators. Examples of modifiers are vi ; as in 

(8) Mutitcivi We eat here. 


and la, as in 

(9) la mu fa titci Y es ; we're going to eat. 


andnalaVen, as in 

( 1 0) D a pa kamla na la V en X came at nine. 


All of these modifiers may be answers and so may serve as utterances: 

(11) Vi 


(12) la 



At nine. 


The fifth ingredient is the punctuators. A very common one is the general comma-word gu. We 
have already seen it used in 

( 14) Mu titci vi gu le supta We eat here, the soup. 


Without its punctuator, (14) would mean 

( 1 5) Mu titci vi le supta We eat in/at the soup. 


So the effect of gu is to close off certain structures so as to prevent them from absorbing new 
material. All these topics will of course be dealt with in some detail in later sections of this 

In sum, there are four types of Loglan utterances: (1) sentences, (2) answers, (3) imperatives and 
(4) connected utterances. They are made out of five types of ingredients: (i) predicates, (ii) 
arguments, (iii) modifiers, (iv) connectors and (v) punctuators. We already know how to 
construct unmodified sentences, answers and imperatives. The rest of this chapter will be 
devoted to explaining the three things we do not know: (A) how modifiers are made and used; 
(B) how and when utterances need to be punctuated; and (C) how utterances may be connected 
to each other. 

We commence with modification. 

5.3 Three Kinds of Modification 

There are three types of modifiers in Loglan, (a) free modifiers like la, which may be inserted at 
any point in a sentence, (b) sentence modifiers like Vi and Na la Ven, which may go nearly 
anywhere but which must be guarded grammatically from absorbing, or being absorbed by, other 
elements, and (c) argument modifiers, which may only follow arguments. To illustrate the 
difference between these three styles of modification, let us apply them to the same basic 

(1) la da godzi la Pari's Certainly X goes to Paris. 


(2) Na lo dotra da godzi la Pari's In the winter X goes to Paris. 

/naloD OTradaG ODzilapaRIS/ 

(3) Da godzi la Pari's, ja sitci go nu cluva X goes to Paris, which is a city 
da beloved by X . 


The sense in which ia [yah] 'certainly' is grammatically "free" may be appreciated by noting that 
ia may go anywhere in its sentence-except, in fact, between la and Pari's, for nothing may 
come between a name operator and its name without becoming part of that name-without 
causing parsing difficulties. The word 'certainly' is similarly free to move about in English. On 
the other hand, as we do this we notice that the meanings of the resulting sentences subtly 
change: 'X, certainly, goes to Paris (not Y )' 'X goes, certainly, to Paris (doesn't live there)' 'X goes 
to Paris, certainly (not to Rome).' In short, attaching a free modifier to a particular element of a 
sentence calls our attention to that element. In a sense it emphasizes it by suggesting a contrast 
between this sentence and another like it in which just this element has been changed. So non- 
initial free modifers highlight particular features of the host sentence. It is apparently only when 
free modifiers are initial, as in (1), that they modify the host sentence as a whole. 

So much for free modification with little words like ia. The sentence modification that is going 
on in sentence (2) is guite different. Here, the whole sentence will be modified no matter where 
we put the modifying phrase na lo dotra. While these kinds of phrases may be placed nearly 
anywhere in their sentences, their contribution to the meanings of those sentences doesn't seem 
to change as they move. There seems to be no difference in the three claims that (i) in the winter 
X goes to Paris, (ii) X goes in the winter to Paris, and (iii) X goes to Paris in the winter. In all 

three cases, the entire predicated event (X 's going to Paris from somewhere) is involved. It is that 
entire event that takes place in the winter. Whether you mention that fact late or early in the 
sentence in which you report it seems to make no difference in the claim. It is in this sense that 
na lo dotra is a sentence modifier. What it modifies is not the local neighborhood in which we 
find it but the whole sentence in which it is found. It is apparently only convenience, then, or the 
order in which they spring to mind, that determines the order in which sentence modifiers are 
uttered. Their meaning is so global, in fact, that sentence modifiers are often called simply 
modifiers. They seem to have about the same relationship to a sentence as an argument does. 

The argument modifying phrase in sentence (3) represents still a third style of modification. Here 
the Loglan linking word j a [zhah] and the English relative pronoun 'which' firmly attach the 
predicate expressions sitci go nu cluva je da and 'is a city beloved by X ' to the preceding 
arguments, namely to la Pari's and 'Paris'. The effect is clearly that of a local modifier. 
Moreover, unlike a sentence modifier, the ja-marked modifier is bound to remain in its place-or 
at least be moved about with its argument if that is moved-if it is to have this meaning at all. It is 
Paris and nothing else of which the incidental fact of its being a city beloved by X is said to be 

In fact the only other place in this sentence where the ja-clause could conceivably occur and still 
be grammatical is right after Da. In this new position the same modifying clause would be as 
firmly attached to Da as it is now to la Pari's; and it would thus convey the cheerfully 
nonsensical message thatX, which is incidentally a city beloved by itself, goes to Paris. 

All three styles of modification may, of course, occur in the same sentence: 

(4) la na lo dotra da godzi la Pari's, ja le Certainly in the winter X goes to 
sitci go nu cluva je da Paris, which is a city beloved by 



In the next half dozen sections we will take up, first, the construction of sentence modifiers, 
second, the many varieties of free modifiers, and finally the logically more intricate matter of 
argument modification. That done we will move on to the final topics of Loglan grammar, the 
punctuation and connection of utterances. 

5.4 Sentence Modifiers 

There are two kinds of sentence modifiers in Loglan. One of them is, in its simplest form, a 
prepositional phrase like n a ti = 'at this time'; and the other has an adverbial meaning, like na = 
'now', and is clearly an abbreviation or ellipsis of the first. The fully expressed sentence modifier 
is therefore either a phrase, like na lo dotra = 'in the winter', or a clause, like fa lepo la Djan, pa 
kamla = 'after the-event-of John's coming', or, less literally, 'after John came'. In either case the 
modifier is formed by putting something called a relative operator before an argument. In these 
last two cases the relative operators are na and fa and the arguments are lo dotra and lepo la 
Djan, pa kamla. Such arguments may be of any form whatever... including, as we've just seen, 

event-descriptions. When they are event-descriptions, then what we are calling a sentence 
modifier in Loglan will seem in English grammar to be a subordinate clause. 

From adverbial na, to preposition- like na in na ti ; to conjunction- like na in na lepo la Djan, pa 

kamla ('when John came '), the Loglan relative operator seems to be the pillar of this 
construction. Earlier in this book we encountered two varieties of relative operators, although we 
didn't call them that then. These were the tense and location operators of Sections 3.6 and 3.7, of 
which pa na fa and vi va vu were the elementary instances. But there are many other kinds of 
relative operators. We call them all "relative" because they relate the main event predicated in a 
sentence to something else: to the time, place, or other circumstances of speech when the 
operator is being used as an "inflector" of the predicate, to other designated things or events in 
the case of modifying phrases or clauses. 

To appreciate the semantic range of these sentence-modifying constructions let's consider the 
following guartet of them: vi lo resra = 'in restaurants', kou tao [koh-oo-tow] = 'because of that 
(alluded-to event)', lia lo cinkau [sheen-KAU-oo] = 'like a puppy', and nia lepo da junti = 
'throughout X 's youth'. Notice that no grammatical distinction is drawn between relative phrases 
and relative clauses in Loglan. Both are sentence modifiers formed by joining a relative operator 
to an argument... no matter how elaborate that argument is. This will lead, as we'll see, to a 
considerable simplification of the grammar of modification. 

Let's now apply this guartet of modifiers to the following unmodified sentence: Da pa clucea 
[shloo-SHEIGH-ah] = "X fell in love (lover-became).' First, in solo passages: 

(1) Da pa clucea vi lo resra X fell in love in restaurants. 


(2) Da kou tao pa clucea X because of that fell in love. 

/dako ,utao pacluC E a/ 

(3) Lia lo cinkau da pa clucea Like a puppy X fell in love. 


(4) Da pa clucea nia lepo da junti X fell in love throughout X 's 


/dapacluC E anialepodaj U Nti/ 
And then in concert: 

(5) Da clucea kou tao vi lo resra, lia lo X fell in love because of that, in 
cinkau, nia lepo da junti restaurants, like a puppy, 

throughout da's youth. 

I've put commas between the modifying phrases in the English translation of (5) to indicate that 
none is to be interpreted as a local modifier. Such punctuating moves are not necessary in 
Loglan-although I've used two optional phrasing pauses in the long production of (5) to make it 
easier to read aloud- because the fact that each of these modifiers modifies the sentence as a 

whole is unequivocally conveyed by the simple circumstance of their being unmarked. We will 
see in a later section how, if we want to say that it was a "restaurant like a puppy", we can do 
so. ..odd as that claim might be. But we must then mark the modifier lia lo cinkau with one of the 
ja-links of Section 5.17 to turn it into a local modifier.- When we say that these modifiers 
modify "the sentence as a whole" we mean, of course, the sentence as modified by all its other 

If we were engaged in semantical analysis, we might well argue that speaking the modifiers of a 
given sentence in a different order would deposit the features of the speaker's image in the 
listener's mind in a different narrative sequence.. .much as a story-teller might describe the same 
scene differently on different occasions by mentioning its elements in a different order. Y et the 
logical claim of sentence (5) is independent of the order of its modifiers. Moreover, that claim, 
once it is finally made, is identical to the claim made by the conjunction of sentences (1) through 
(4). For while each of these shorter sentences tells only part of this complex story, they make 
serially the same set of partial claims as are made collectively in (5). 

To see that all the partial claims of sentences (l)-(4) are indeed order-independent, and that they 
probably do add up to (5), let us arbitrarily rearrange the elements of claims (l)-(4), in particular 
let us speak them in the inverse order in which they appear in (5): 

(6) Nia lepo da junti gu, lia lo cinkau, vi Throughout X 's youth, like a 
lo resra, kou tao, da pa clucea puppy, in restaurants, because of 

that, X fell in love. 

Note that, now that the nia-clause is no longer final, the punctuator gu is required to prevent the 
sentence inside its lepo-clause from acquiring lia lo cinkau and vi lo resra as its sentence 
modifiers. The three comma-pauses, however, are optional.. .designed to break up this long 
sentence into five breathgroups, so as to make it easier for the newcomer to read aloud, and 
perhaps also for the listener to understand. 

Sentence (6) is perhaps a bit more difficult to understand than (5) because one has to wait so long 
to learn about the main event. But apart from that, it is clear that (6) is merely one of the many 
possible retellings of the curious story told by (5). 

The most compact form of a sentence modifier is simply the relative operator itself. For example, 
na, vi, kou, lia and nia, all of which have been used prepositionally above, are also capable of 
functioning as adverbs.. .that is, used without their customary arguments. Some English words 
are also capable of playing this dual role. For example, one may say 'They are flying above the 
house' but also 'They are flying above.' In English the word 'above' may thus be used as both 
adverb and preposition. While this is only rarely true in English, it is true of all the Loglan 
relative operators. These are neither adverbs, prepositions, nor conjunctions but a class of multi- 
function words that may play without confusion any of these syntactic roles when called upon to 
do so. 

When used alone in this elliptical fashion na ; for example, means 'at this unmentioned time 
(usually assumed to be the time of speech)', or simply 'now'. By a similar ellipsis, vi alone may 
be taken to mean 'in this unmentioned place (but usually assumed to be the locality of speech)', 
or simply 'here'. Analogously, kou means 'because of this unmentioned cause (inferably the 
event just alluded to in speech, or the event of speech itself)', or simply 'consequently'. Similarly 
interpreted, lia means 'like this thing or event (that has just been alluded to in speech)', or simply 
'similarly'. Finally, when nia is used as an adverb-and nia is the sign of the continuous present 
tense-it means 'throughout this event (usually one alluded to in speech)', or simply 'meanwhile'. 
And when we consider that some of these relative operators- in principle, as we are about to 
discover, all of them- may also be used to inflect predicates as well, as, for example, in Da na 
sucmi ('X is now swimming') and Da vi farfu ('X is here a father'), it is evident that Loglan gets 
quite a lot of syntactic mileage out of its relative operators. 

In fact, it does. The lexeme to which all these very different kinds of words belong-called the 
PA Lexeme by the machine grammar-is one of the "portmanteaux" lexemes of Loglan. It 
contains a huge congeries of semantically unlike elements, yet all have the same grammar. It 
contains, for example, tense operators, location operators, modal operators, and causal operators, 
and the meanings of these have little in common except their "relativity". Yet the remarkable fact 
is that all of them can be handled by the same small set of grammar rules. This is emphatically 
not true of similar words in natural grammars. So a large simplification of Loglan grammar is 
achieved by pooling them together. In the end the learner will discover that the same rules handle 
them all. As a consequence, to learn where pa and kin may go in Loglan, is to learn not only 
where vi and kin go, but also where kou and lia and all their diverse kin go as well. And 
remarkably enough this will include the so-called "inflecting position" before the predicate. 

Let us now take the mystery out of the inflecting role of the relative operator. Consider (i) Da 
kou sucmi. In contemporary Loglan usage, the claim of (i) does not differ substantially from that 
of (ii) Da sucmi kou, any more than Da na sucmi claims anything very different from Da sucmi 
na. In (ii) the causal relative kou is playing the role of an English adverb.. .a role which we seem 
to understand readily enough: 'X swims, consequently.' Hence (i) must mean something very like 
'X is consequently a swimmer' in which the effective cause of the swimming-or of X 's being a 
swimmer- is something which both speaker and listener may be assumed to be aware 
of.. .something current, perhaps, or recently alluded to, in this communication. Apparently the 
only, or at least the chief, difference between (i) and (ii) is syntactic and positional. In (i), kou is 
being used early in the sentence as an inflector, perhaps to mark the predicate off from some 
preceding description, and is therefore inferably forethoughtful. In (ii), kou comes along after the 
main statement of the sentence has been made, and so is being used afterthoughtfully, as it were, 
which is the very spirit of the adverbial construction. These are differences in meaning, alright, 
because they signify different things about the speaker and the speech situation. But it is a 
difference that seems to make no difference in the claim. 

In short, the lesson to be learned in this section is that the Loglan relative operators-of which 
there are apparently four types: the temporal, the spatial, the modal, and the causal-are 
remarkably free, positionally. They are not quite "free modifiers" in the sense discussed earlier, 
for these, as we shall see, are even freer positionally than the sentence modifiers are. But the 
relative operators, as well as the phrases and clauses made with them, may be dropped into a 

sentence at almost any point at which an argument may be used. Sentence modifiers are, in truth, 
quasi- arguments; for they specify those temporal, spatial, modal and causal features of events 
which may be mentioned in connection with nearly any predicate. That is, whatever happens in 
nature takes place in time, but also in space, and in some sort of causal nexus with other events 
as well. And if that happening also happens in the human world-as the events reported in human 
sentences nearly always do-it will be found to have been accomplished with some instrument, 
for some purpose, in some mode, and according to some rule. 

Thus, each of the many relative operators of Loglan may be used in all three ways: (i) as a 
preposition to form sentence modifying phrases or clauses; (ii) as an adverb functioning as a 
free-floating sentence modifier; and (iii) as an inflector of the predicate, in which position it 
performs the occasionally important syntactic function of marking the main predicate of the 
sentence to be such. In English we are used to seeing only tense words- the so-called "auxiliary 
verbs" -in this essentially syntactical, predicate-marking role. In Loglan, spatial words like vi are 
also capable of playing it, as are, we now learn with some surprise, causal and modal words like 
kou and lia. As a result of our constant effort toward grammatical simplification, another large 
increase in the semantical domain of the language has apparently been obtained. 

5.5 The Four Varieties of Relative Operators 

Two varieties of relative operators are already familiar to us, namely the tense operators 
consisting of n a and kin, which relate events in time, and the location operators consisting of vi 
and kin, which relate them in space. The two remaining categories of relative operators are the 
causal operators, which relate the event or relationship described by the main predicate to other 
events according to how the speaker thinks they are causally related, and the modal operators, 
which place the main event in what might be called the human matrix. They allow the speaker to 
explain how the predicated event is similar to other events, who it is for, how it was brought 
about, or with what tools, agents, methods or according to what rules. Less systematic than the 
causal relatives, we'll discuss the modals first. 

5.6 Modal Operators lia and Kin 

Like the case tags of Section 4.31 , the modal- operators are all CVV-form words. Like them, too, 
each one is derived from a primitive predicate which serves as a clue to its meaning. At present 
there are but twelve of these modal words; they are shown in Table 5.1 . We expect that, as the 
number of native languages of loglanists increases, other modal notions will be added from time 
to time. 

Table 5.1 The Twelve M odal p era tors 

ciu [shyoo] (ciktu = equals) as much as/as little as/to the same degree as... 

coi [shoy] (tcori = authority) according to rule/method/ authority... 

dii [dee-ee] (dilri = represent) for/on behalf of... 

duo [dwoh] (durzo = do) in manner/mode... /by method... 

|hea [heigh- ah] (helba = help) 

with...'s help/through agent... 

|kii [kee-ee] (kinci = with) 

with/accompanied by... 

lia [lee- ah] (clika = like) 

like/as/in the way that... 

lui [loo-ee] (pluci = please) 

for/in order to please... 

mou [moh-oo] (mordu = more) 

as well as/in addition to... 

peu [peigh-oo] (perti = pertain) 

re/concerning/as for/with regard to... 

sea [seigh-ah] (setfa = put) 

instead of/in place of... 

tie [tyeh] (trime = tool) 

with..., a tool or means 

Here are some examples of modally modified sentences. Most of them are modified with modal 

(1) DapadzorulialaDjan X walked like John. 


(2) Da pa kutla de tie leda najda X cut Y with X 's knife. 


(3) Da pa madzo de coi le bukcu X made Y according to the book. 

/dapaM A DzodecoileB UKcu/ 

(4) Lui le fumna da pa durzo de For the woman, X did Y (i.e., in 

order to please the woman). 

(5) Da pa takna dii la Djan X talked for (on behalf of) John. 


These are modified with modal adverbs: 

(6) Da pa durzo ta dii 

(7) Da pa takna rui 

(8) Dapaturkaciu 

X did that as- a- representative (on 

behalf of some unmentioned 


X talked accordingly (i.e., 

according to some unmentioned 


X worked as much (as some 

unmentioned person). 

And this one is modified with a modal clause: 

(9) Da pa takna de lia lepo leda farfu pa X talked to Y like X 's father 

takna leda matma talked to X 's mother. 

/dapaTA KnadeliA lepoledaFA Rfu.paTA KnaledaM ATma/ 

Again, this is a phrasing pause. 

It will repay us to take a moment to think about how the modals differ from the case tags of the 
BEU Lexeme described in Section 4.31 , for these are the objects with which they are most likely 
to be confused. In a certain sense, modal phrases may be used to extend the place- structure of 
nearly any predicate. So they may be thought of as "itinerant cases", cases which are permitted to 
visit nearly any predicate on their far-flung rounds. But just because such itinerant features may 
turn up nearly anywhere, they may never be distinctive features of any predicate. It is for this 
reason that modal features are never, or rarely, part of the dictionary definition of a 
predicate.. .any more than time and place features are. It is for this reason, too, that modal 
prepositions may never be omitted from their arguments, as a case tag may be thought to have 
been when the argument it might tag is unmarked and in standard order. This is because a 
speaker may not rely on even the most knowing listener correctly to infer the modality of an 
argument from its context, as da may rely on that same knowing listener to infer the non-itinerant 
features of a predicate, namely the roles played by the occupants of its standard arguments. Thus 
modality must always be explicitly marked by the use of modal prepositions as the cases of 
arguments need never be. 

Loglanists are exploring the uses of modals as inflectors and adverbs. We expect adventurous 
speakers to make many interesting discoveries in these uncharted waters. With a little thought, 
almost any of these strange new usages may be sensibly interpreted. For example, what does Da 
durzo de hea mean? In other words, what is the adverbial sense of hea? Well; if you think about 
it, hea used non-inflectionally and without an argument must at the very least mean that X did Y 
with the help of someone else, that is, "helpedly" . So Da durzo de hea must mean 'X does Y 
with help'. What about hea as an inf lector? Reasoning analogically from, let us say, the sense of 
pa itself in these three positions-as a preposition pa means 'before (this designated time)', as an 
adverb 'before some undesignated time (presumably inferable from context)', and as an inflector 
'before this particular time, namely the point of speech'-Da hea durzo de must mean that X 's 
doing Y was helped by someone or something current, perhaps a person present at the time of 
speech. Could we translate it as X does Y with your help', you the listener? Extending the 
currency principle to another case, what does Da sea durzo de mean? Asa preposition sea 
means 'instead of. So I would assume that the specimen means that X did Y instead of someone 
or something else, someone or something which was in some sense present at the time of speech. 
Could it mean that X does Y instead of your doing Y ? But note that the speaker, too, is present at 
the point of speech... but perhaps less interestingly so, since the speaker is always present. As I 
say, loglanists are now exploring this vast new domain of meanings that has been opened up by 
the development of a machine- readable grammar. 

5.7 Causal Operators kou moi rau soa and Kin 

There are sixteen causal operators in Loglan, and their full significance will not be appreciated 
until, in the last sections of this chapter, we study the closely- related causal connectives that have 

been derived from them. In this section we consider how the sixteen elementary causal notions 
may be used prepositionaHy, adverbially, and even as inflectors. 

The most common use of the causal relatives is as prepositions, and that is the sense of the 
English translations given here. Some of these meanings do not exist in the natural languages, 
and in these cases the Loglan meanings are often hard to think out. 

Table 5.2 The Sixteen Causal Operators 

kou C because of cause C 

nukou E therefore/with effect E 

nokou C despite cause C 

nunokou E nevertheless (unexpected) effect E 

moi M because of motive M 

numoi A so action A 

nomoi M despite motive M 

nunomoi A nevertheless (unexpected) action A 

rau R because of reason R 

nurau D thus decision D 

no rau R despite reason R 

nunorau D nevertheless (unjustified) decision D 

soa P because of premise(s) P 

nusoa C thus conseguence(s) C 

nosoa P despite premise(s) P 

nunosoa C nevertheless (unentailed) conseguence C 

Here are some examples of causally constructed sentence modifiers: 

(1) Mi pa godzi moi la Djan I went because of John (for some 

motive involving John). 
/mipaG D zimoilaD J A N/ 

(2) Mi pa godzi moi lepo vizka la Djan I went to see John (so that I could 

see John). 


(3) Mi pa godzi moi I went intentionally (with some 

unmentioned purpose). 
/mipaG ODzimoi/ 

(4) Mi moi godzi I intentionally/purposefully go. 


Notice that when the prepositional sense is plain, the adverbial and inflecting senses are easily 
inferred. Note, too, that in Loglan we do not have to use constructions like 'because I wanted to 
see John' or 'because of my desire to see John' as operands of moi. Moi already says that 
whatever follows it is a designation of a motive, that is, a psychological state in which, by 
actively contemplating a desirable conseguence of some action, an actor causes daself to 
undertake it. So we do not have to say all this over again in the operand. Because they imitate the 
spareness of the Loglan, I've used telegraphic phrases like 'to see John' as perhaps the best 
translations of moi- clauses. 

Here's a seguence in which a reason is the analog of the cause, and a decision, or some justified 
action, is analogous to the effect: 

(5) Mi pa poltia [POHL-tyah] la Djan, I voted for (politically-chose) 
rau lepo da nesta John because he is honest. 


(6) Mi pa poltia la Djan, rau tau I voted for John because of that 

(previously alluded to reason). 
/mipaPOLtialaDJ A N .raUta,u/ 

(7) Mi pa poltia la Djan, rau I voted for John with reason (for 

some unspecified reason). 

(8) Mi rau poltia la Djan I justifiably voted for John. 


The semantical differences between the four levels of causation-the physical level with kou, the 
motivational with moi, the justificational with rau, and the inferential with soa-will be 
discussed in Sections 5.23-25. 

5.8 The Seven Varieties of Free Modifiers 

Modifiers that may be attached to anything at all in an utterance, including themselves, are a very 
common type of modifier in natural language. Altogether there are seven distinct kinds of such 
modifiers in Loglan: (1) the vocatives, which, like the name Djan, serve as addresses on the 
sentences to which they are attached; (2) the salutations, like loi [loy] = 'Hello', which serve as 
brief, stylized signals of certain universal human situations; (3) the attitudinals, like ia [yah] = 'I', 
which express the speaker's confidence, doubt or other such emotions toward what da is saying; 
(4) the relative interrogatives, like vihu [vee-hoo], which means 'Where?', and which are built on 
the relative operators of the previous two sections; (5) the discursives, like buo [bwoh] or [boo- 
oh] which means 'however', and which allow the speaker to make comparisons with foregoing 
discourse; (6) parenthetic comments, made with kie...kiu [kyeh... kyoo], by which a speaker may 
express reservations or deviations from the main thrust of da's remarks; and finally (7) the 
utterance ordinals, like nefi [neh-fee], which means 'firstly' or 'primarily', by which the speaker 
may help daself and the listener keep track of some seguence of da's ideas. 

The number of variations in some of these groups is small. There are only four salutations, for 
example. Some groups are middle-sized; there are about 20 discursives and 25 attitudinals. But 
others are essentially unlimited in number. Examples are the vocatives (any name may be one), 
the parenthetic comments (any utterance may be a parenthetic comment on another), and the 
utterance ordinals. These last like any set of numerically- based words, are in principle infinite in 

As mentioned earlier, a free modifier is always assumed to modify the word it immediately 
follows or, if initial, the whole utterance which it thus precedes. This will be illustrated in the 
sections that follow. 

5.9 Salutations and Other Expressions of Direct Address 

These are among the most primitive utterance forms of any language. With them one calls a 
listener's attention, singles out the person one wishes to talk to, or expresses the formal 
sentiments of gratitude, welcome, greeting or farewell. Sometimes these modifiers are 
collectively called vocatives, which is nothing more than Latin for "calls". 

There are five special words of direct address in Loglan. These are Loi [loy] which means 
'Hello'; Loa [loh-ah] which means 'Goodbye'; Sia [syah] which means 'Thanks'; Siu [syoo] 
which means You're welcome'; and the general attention- caller Hoi [hoy] which, when used 
alone, has a sense rather like English 'Hey!' or the nautical shout 'Ahoy!, and, when used to 
introduce a phrase, turns that phrase into a vocative. 

In addition, every name word of the language may be used as a call. Thus Djan, Frans, Far and 
Lun [jahn frahns fahr loon] ('John', 'France', 'Dad' and 'Moon'), when used without the name- 
operator la, serve as simple calls. 

Finally, any predicate expression whatever may be preceded by Hoi, and this move forms an 
address of any length whatever.. .in much the same way that the same kinds of expressions may 
be capitalized and used with la to form formal names. For example, on the pattern of the name la 
Ganbra Matma ('Noble Mother'), one may form the call Hoi Ganbra Matma ('0 Noble 
Mother'), which affords a much more formal way of addressing one's female parent than 
shouting Mat. Similarly, Hoi G anfua go Redro Nu Herfa means '0 Lady with the Red Hair' 
and also has all the reguirements of formal address.- 

Any call may be used alone: 

(1) Djan John! 

(2) Hoi B nidi Brother! 

So may any salutation: 

(3) Loi Hello! 

(4) Siu Y ou're welcome! 

Any call may be used with any salutation, and in either order: 

(5) Frans, sia France, thank you! 


(6) Loa ; Lun Goodbye, Moon! 


Any of these expressions may be used as an embellishment of any utterance in almost any 
position. Thus an address may be used to preface an imperative, as in 

(7) Djan, godzi John, go! 


or to follow one: 

(8) Godzi, Djan Go, John! 


or to direct different parts of a message to different listeners: 

(9) Plizo ti, Djan, e ta, Meris Use this, John, and that, Mary. 


or to adorn declarative sentences with definite addresses: 

(10) Meris, la Djan, pa godzi Mary, John went. 


and to do this either forethoughtfully, as above, or afterthoughtfully as below: 

(11) La Djan, pa godzi, Meris John went, Mary. 


Only two words in the above utterances were allowed to precede names pauselessly. These were 
la and Hoi. In fact these are the only two words with that privilege in Loglan. Any other word 
must be separated from a following name by a pause. This includes other names. Thus non-final 
names in a string of names must always be followed by pauses. In other words, /djanpolDJONZ/ 
will be heard in Loglan as the single name Djanpoldjo'nz, and not, as one had hoped, as Djan 
Pol Djonz. One is, in Loglandia, either Tarn Braon or Tambrao'n depending on how one's 
callers speak one's name. 

Suppose, given all these constraints, one wanted to insert a vocatively used name at a point in an 
utterance where a designatively used one has just occurred. Suppose, for example, one wanted to 
translate 'Go to Mary, John' literally into Loglan. Naively executed that intention would produce 

(12) GodzilaMerisDjan Go to Mary John. 


which plainly would not work. For even with the pause between the names- -a pause which, by 
convention, is not represented by a comma in text-the result is a serial name like 'John Paul 
Jones'. What one has succeeded in doing with (12) is instructing some unmentioned person to go 
to Mary John. 

The solution is to use Hoi, of course: 

(13) Godzi la Meris, Hoi Djan Go to Mary, John. 


(14) Djadou mi la Djan Pol Hoi Djonz Tell me about John Paul, Jones 


And now, observe, the Hoi-preceding comma does appear in text. 

5.10 Expressions of Attitude 

As we learned in Chapter 2 on word forms, the words whose main business it is to express 
feelings or attitudes in Loglan- especially toward what the speaker daself is saying-are all vowel 
diphthongs. Since there are only twenty-two of these ia-form words, we can now describe them 

Grammatically, the attitude indicators, as we will call them, may either stand alone or embellish 
other forms. Thus la alone means Y es', la, Djan means Y es, John', No ia, Djan means 'No, 
certainly, John' or 'Certainly not, John' and Ia da pa kamla might be translated as 'Certainly X 
came' or 'I am sure thatX came.' Like vocatives, indicators are free modifiers, for they may 
occur anywhere in a sentence. Like all other free modifiers, when indicators are initial they are 
taken to modify the utterance as a whole, but a non- initial indicator modifies only the 
immediately preceding element. For example, if ia follows no in some utterance, it is taken to 
modify that negative, that is, to express negation with conviction. Thus when it stands alone No 
ia [noh-yah] means 'No certainly' or 'I am certain that no.' We would express this sentiment in 
English the other way round, by saying 'Certainly not' While the Ia no-order is possible in 
Loglan, it means 'Certainly it is not the case that' only when it occurs at the head of an utterance, 
for anywhere else ia will be occupied in modifying something else. 

For example, in La Djan, ia no godzi the indicator ia modifies Djan, not no, giving the sense of 
'John, certainly, didn't go.' It does not mean John certainly didn't go.' So if we do want to express 
the sentiment of English John certainly didn't go' we would have to say La Djan, no ia godzi in 
Loglan. Thus whenever negative attitudes are to be expressed, the preferred order in Loglan is 
negative- indicator, as in No ia. 

Here are some possible uses of ia: 

(1) la mi ditca Certainly I am a teacher. 


(2) Mi ia ditca I, certainly, am a teacher. 


(3) Mi ditca ia I am a teacher certainly., 


(4) Mi ia no ditca I, certainly, am not a teacher. 


(5) Mi no ia ditca I am not, certainly, a teacher (I am 

certainly not a teacher). 


We have put ia through its paces. Now let's look at the other indicators. 

The twenty-two attitude indicators of Loglan are grouped into several distinct series. There is (i) 
the conviction series, of which ia is the head; (ii) the intention series of which ai ('I will') is the 
head; (iii) the obligation series, of which oa ('must') is the head; (iv) the request series of which 
ei ('Is that so?') is the head; and finally what we may call (v) the emotive series of which ua 
(expressing satisfaction) is an example. Let us consider these five series one at a time. 

Degrees of conviction may be expressed in Loglan with the following series of indicators: 

ia [yah] Yes/I agree/I agree that. .is true. 

io [yoh] Probably/I think that... is true. 

ii [yee] Perhaps/Maybe/It is possible that... is true. 

iu [yoo] Who knows/I don't know/I don't know whether... is true. 

Three negative forms are also possible, namely no ia ('I disagree'), no io [noh-yoh] (I think not) 
and no ii [noh-yee] ('Perhaps not'). Thus seven distinct expressions comprise the conviction scale 
in Loglan.- 

Degrees of obligation are similarly expressed: 

oa [oh-ah] I (or you) must do. ../bring.. .about. 

oe [oh-eh] I (or you) should do. ../bring.. .about. 

oi [oy] I (or you) may do. ../bring.. .about. 

ou [oh-oo] It doesn't matter whether I (or you) do. ..or not. 

Again there are three negatives: no oa [noh-OH-ah] ('must not do...'), no oe [noh-OH-eh] 
('should not do...'), and no oi [NOH-oy] ('may fail to do...'). 

The word ia, we have said, means Y es.' But there are other kinds of affirmatives in Loglan. For 
example, the sense of Yes, you may' may be translated simply as Loglan oi. In addition there are 
several affirmatives which express willingness or consent. These belong to the intention series. 

ai [igh] Y es ; I will/I consent or intend to do. ../to make.. .the case. 
ao [ow] Y es ; I wish to/I want or prefer to do. ../that. .is the case. 
ae [ah-eh] Yes ; I hope so/I hope to do. ../that. .is the case, 
au [ah-oo] I don't care whether I do... /whether... is the case. 

As usual we have three negatives: no ai [NOH-igh] ('I refuse'/'I will not') ; no ao [NOH-ow] ('I 
don't want to') ; and no ae [noh-AH-eh] ('I hope not'). (Remember that [igh] is the value of these 
letters in 'sigh'.. .which is always the sound of Loglan /ai/.) 

Note the formal parallels between the three series. Each has three positives, three negatives and a 
zero point which takes no negative. Thus zero conviction is ignorance (Who knows?') and is 
expressed with hi; zero obligation is ethical indifference ('It doesn't matter') and is expressed 
with ou; and zero intention is another kind of indifference ('I don't care if I do or not') and is 
expressed with au. Thus there are ; in effect seven positions on each of these three "attitude 
scales," and the zero-point on each is marked by final -u. 

Only one of these scales will present serious difficulties to the speaker of English: the intention 
scale. This scale proves troublesome to English- speakers because in Loglan, unlike English, any 
of the seven intentional expressions may be used with sentences which do not involve the 
speaker, as well as (more comfortably for us) those that do. Thus both 

(6) No ai mi godzi la Romas I refuse to go to Rome. 


(7) No ai tu godzi la Romas I will see to it that you do not go 

to Rome. 

are meaningful uses of No ai in Loglan. English forms like 'I insist that..', 'I refuse to permit you 
to...', 'I do not want you to...', and so on, are best treated in Loglan as intentional expressions and 
not as predications at all. They are therefore best translated by attitude indicators, and not by 
literal eguivalents of the English words. 

In fact, literal translation into Loglan is seldom the best choice where English expressions of 
attitude are involved. This applies to other kinds of attitudes as well as those of the intentional 
kind. For example, the sentence 'I believe the Earth is round' may occur with two guite different 
meanings in English. One involves an indication of moderate conviction (this is what 'I believe...' 
usually expresses in English): 

(8) Io la Ter, bamfoa [bahm-FOH-ah] Probably the Earth is round (ball- 



The other gives a self- report on the speaker's belief system such as da might make in response to 
an inguiry about da's beliefs: 

(9) Mi krido lepo la Ter ; bamfoa I believe that a certain state-of- 

affairs obtains namely that the 
Earth is round. 

This is seldom the meaning of the English source. Both translations contrast with the unadorned 
and ungualified remark: 

(10) La Ter ; bamfoa The Earth is round. 


It is clear that (8) and (9) make two very different claims about the world. Sentence (8) is true if 
and only if the Earth is round, never mind the speaker's feelings. Indeed, for most purposes (8) 
may be regarded as having the same truth-conditions as sentence (10) in which no attitudes 
whatever are indicated. Does the expression of a feeling about a sentence change the truth-value 
of that sentence? We suppose not. Sentence (9), on the other hand, is guite a different matter. It is 
true if and only if the speaker does in fact believe the condition asserted in sentence (10) ; never 
mind the Earth's geometry. 

We are not often dismayed by this kind of ambiguity in English, possibly because we are seldom 
aware of it. But again, the Loglan speaker may wish to be utterly clear about what parts of da's 
speech merely express da's attitudes- -and which are, therefore, neither true nor false but simply 
there-and which parts make claims about the world. And in expressing daself in this purely 
attitudinal way the Loglan speaker has great freedom. For let us note that claiming can be done 
with faint conviction, 

( 1 1 ) Ii la Ter, bamfoa Perhaps the Earth is round. 


or faint intention, 

(12) A e la Ter, bamfoa I hope the Earth is round. 


as well as strong conviction, 

(13) la la Ter, bamfoa Certainly the Earth is round. 


or strong intention, 

(14) Ai la Ter, bamfoa I intend that the Earth shall be 


Through it all, the roundness of the Earth persists. For the Earth's geometry is, of course, 
independent of all our hopes and fears and of nearly all but the most robust of our intentions. The 
logician's interest in all these sentences is substantially the same because the evidence that 
confirms or refutes La Ter, balfoa is in every case the same.- Only after we know what 
something claims can we make use of whatever information we may have about the speaker's 
attitude toward that claim. But knowledge of claims and information about attitudes interact in 
important ways. Thus the startling thing about (14) is not the strength of the speaker's attitude or 
the geometry of his claim, but the enormity of such a claim when accompanied by such an 
attitude. For with (14) we suddenly have a vision of a speaker levelling mountains in the interests 
of geometry, while in (11), (12) and (13) the same approximate truth mixed with other attitudes 
may be more placidly entertained. 

Note that in Loglan these two components of meaning-traditionally called the "cognitive" and 
the "emotive" components—may be clearly separated. Again, we suppose that this arrangement 
will perform some service for the thinker. 

The next list of indicators forms a series of reguests: 

ei [ay] Oh?/Is that so?/Is it the case that...? 

ea [eigh-ah] Let's/I suggest that we do... /make... the case. 

eo [eigh-oh] Please/I the case. 

eu [eigh-oo] Let. .be.. ./Let's suppose/assume that. .is the case. 

Ei reguests information about the truth of some matter: 

(15) Ei la Djan, pa kamla Did John come? (Literally, 'Is it 

true that John came?') 

(16) Eitufagodzi Are you going? (Is it true that you 

will go?) 

Ea reguests some cooperative act from the listener: 

(17)Eamugodzi Let's go. 

( 18) Ea la Ter, bamfoa Let's make the Earth round. 


Eo reguests permission, and presupposes that the listener is in a position to give it: 

(19) Eo mu godzi Please, may we go? 


(20) Eo la Ter ; bamfoa Please, let the Earth be round. 


Finally, the indicator eu is used to request the imaginative cooperation of the listener in 
entertaining the speaker's suppositions. Often such requests are expressed in English by using the 
word 'suppose' and/or putting the following verb in the subjunctive mood: 

(21) Eu mi bragai [BRAH-gigh] Suppose I were king (born-ruler). 


Remember that [igh] is as in 'sigh'. 

(22) Eu mu pa godzi Suppose we had gone. 


(23) Eu tu fa felda Suppose you do fall. 


(24) Eu la Ter, pilno Let's assume the Earth is flat. 

(Suppose the Earth were flat.) 

For certain purposes eu may be regarded as the sign of the Loglan subjunctive mood. It creates- 
or at least it asks for-a characteristic suspension of disbelief. This is the mood that fiction 
writers require of their readers as well as the one that scientists must be in when entertaining 
contrary-to-fact conditionals. 

The final series of indicators is the emotive one. It contains the purely expressive words of the 

ua [wall] (satisfaction or completion) There!/Done!/(French) Voila! 

ue [weh] (surprise) Well!/Oh?/Is that so?/(when rhetorical) How odd that... 

ui [wee] (pleasure) How nice!/I am happy that.. ./to say that... 

uo [woh] (anger or annoyance) What!/How annoying that... 

uu [woo] (sorrow or regret) Sorry !/Alas!/What a shame that... 

No difficulty in using these words is likely to be experienced by the speaker of English. 

Some compound attitudinal words have already been defined, and others may yet be; for the 
twenty-one simple indicators are, in a sense, merely the elementary vocabulary of attitudinal 
expression. Thus the compound word aiui [igh- wee] (ai +ui = 'I will' + 'happily') means 'I 
consent with pleasure', or simply 'Gladly'; uuoa [woo-OH-ah] (uu + oa = 'sorry' + 'must') might 

be translated 'I am sorry but I/you must'; and uiou [wee-OH-oo] (ui + ou) might mean 'Happily it 
doesn't matter'. The reader may wish to explore other possibilities of the attitudinal system.- 

5.11 Questions with ie he ho hu ha 

In addition to Yes-No' questions asked with indicator ei, and requests for various kinds of 
cooperation made with ea eo and eu, there are five more types of questions that may be formed 
with little word markers in Loglan. These question- marking words are ie he ho hu ha [yeh heh 
hoh hoo hah]; and although they are not themselves free modifiers, they are used, as we shall see, 
to create some. So it will be best to deal with them now before continuing with the rest of the 
free modifiers. 

Unlike free modifiers, these five interrogative words have very definite, but largely familiar, 
grammatical distributions. 

Ie, the only VV-word in the set, is the identity interrogative. With it one raises questions about 
the identity of the persons or things being designated by one's interlocutor. To use it, the speaker 
puts it immediately before the argument about which da wishes to raise this question. For 
example, suppose someone mentions la Djan Djonz and obviously assumes that you the listener 
know who this gentleman is. But you don't. So you say 

(1) Ie la Djan Djonz Which John Jones? 


or simply 

(2) Ie Who? 

So ie may be used alone with the sense of 'Who?' or 'Which?', or even as 'What?' in the sense of 
'What did you say?', as well as to mark a failed identifier. 

One answer to either of these questions might be: 

(3) La Djan Pol Djonz John Paul Jones. 


If, now, you know the identity of John Paul Jones, then (3) will be sufficient answer for you. But 
if you don't, you might continue with a different kind of question. 'What does this John Paul 
Jones do?' you might like to ask in English.. .in the hope of gathering more information about this 
still unknown person. That kind of question requires the use of the interrogative predicate he 
[heh] in Loglan: 

(4) La Djan Pol Djonz, he John Paul Jones is/does what? 


He is the question-asking predicate. It has the same grammar as any other predicate word. In 
fact, as far as the grammar is concerned, he is a predicate. But semantically, he is a place-holder: 
it asks us to replace it with a real predicate that will make a true and useful sentence out of the 
one in which it appears. Either of the following answers might give the question- asker the 
information da needs: 

(5) DafarfulaRuprtDjonz X is the father of Rupert J ones. 

/daFA RfulaRUPrtDJ NZ/ 

(6) Da ditca lo numsensi vi le ganta ckela X teaches mathematics (number- 

science) at the high school. 

Not nearly so informative but briefer is another possible answer: 

(7) Ditca (X) Teaches. 


Is this legitimate? It certainly looks like the imperative, 'Be a teacher!', and certainly the speaker 
does not mean that. On the other hand whatever may grammatically replace the interrogative 
predicate he must obviously be a legitimate answer to whatever question he has created. And 
Ditca may usefully replace he in La Djan Pol Djonz, he if John Paul Jones is indeed a teacher. 
So as an answer to an he-question Ditca will not be heard as an imperative but as an abbreviation 
of the longer answer Da ditca. 

But let's say you're still not certain who this fellow Jones is. So you pursue the matter opened 
with sentence (6) with another interrogative, this time using the interrogative argument hu. Just 
as he is a member of Lexeme PREDA, so hu is the interrogative member of Lexeme DA: 

(8) Le ganta ckela je hu The high school of what 


If you are a loglanist, you know that high schools, like restaurants, are always parts of larger 
wholes, namely the communities they serve. Perhaps knowing the community that this high 
school serves will help you identify this particular math teacher. The answer you get might be: 

(9) Je la Nordi Spali Of the North Side. 


Or you might be given the longer, formal name of the school where Jones teaches: 

(10) La Nordi Spali, ge Ganta Ckela The North Side High School. 


Or our informant might respond by replacing hu in (8) with: 

(H)LaNordiSpali The North Side. 


Thus hu has the same grammar as any other argument variable. For example, 

(12) Huditcahuhu 


has the same grammatical structure as 

(13) Daditcadedi 


and happens to be a perfectly legitimate Loglan guestion which translates into 'Who teaches what 
to whom?' Thus, curiously enough, guestions and declarative sentences have exactly the same 
grammar in Loglan. What distinguishes them is not their grammar but the words they contain. 

But let us proceed with our inguiry. Our interlocutor now offers us the new information: 

(14) La Djonz, kapta Jones is a captain. 


We ask: 

(15) Da he, kapta He's what kind of captain? 

(Literally, He's a what- captain)? 

Our informant replies: 

(16) Da mursi kapta He's a sea captain. 


We pursue that with: 

(17) Da mursi kapta hu He's a sea-captain of what? 


And then we get our final answer, the one that finally identifies our man: 

(18) La Bono'm Rica'r (Of) The Bonhomme Richard. 


And to this, the only suitable reply of course is Ua. Or perhaps, if one is the least bit surprised, 

The last two interrogatives are ho and ha. Ho is the interrogative quantifier and may be used 
wherever any other quantifier may be used. For instance, we may ask 

( 19) Ho le mrenu pa kamla How many of the men came? 


and the answers may be: 

(20) Ne One. 


(21) Ne le mrenu pa kamla One of the men came. 


Or we may ask 

(22) Hoba tugle tu How many legs have you? 

(Literally, how many somethings 
x are legs of you?) 

(23) Hoba herfa letu hedto How many hairs on your head? 

(Literally, how many somethings 
x are hairs of your head?) 

Again, the answers might be Te, Ne, Ro or Sunenimo (At least ten thousand'). For whatever 
may legitimately replace ho in a question is obviously a legitimate answer to that question. Thus 
most answers to ho-questions consist simply of quantifiers. 

Ha is the Loglan interrogative connective. This is something that doesn't exist in natural 
language but is essential to the conduct of a logical one. Let us see why. Suppose you encounter 
a loglandian hostess who knows how foolish it would be to ask you if you'd like 'tea or coffee' 
since if you want either, your answer, being that of a loglanist, is bound to be la, sia. But such an 
answer would not advance her project at all. So to forestall such correct but useless answers she 
uses Loglan's interrogative connective to ask a different question: 

(24) Tu danza lo tcati ha lo skafi Y ou want tea how- connected- to 


Now, to answer her properly you must give her a replacement of ha that fits your case. If you 
want neither tea nor coffee, you will reply Noenoi sia, which is Loglan for 'Neither, thank you.' 
If you want tea but not coffee, Enoi sia ('And- not, thank you') will serve very well. If not tea but 
coffee, Noe sia ('Not-and, thank you' will signal that preference neatly. And if you want both, 
one or the other or both, one or the other but not both, one or the other or neither but not both, 
etc., etc., you would answer, E sia, A sia, Onoi sia, Noanoi sia, respectively, down the long list 
of logical possibilities which loglanists will tend to savor more than other people, perhaps.- 

In sum, loglanists use ie when they want to know the identity of the designatum of some 
inadeguate argument (Ie da = 'Which X ?'), he when they want a predicate for an answer (Da he 
= 'X is/does what?' Tu he = 'How are you?'), hu when they want an argument for an answer (Hu 
gritu = 'Who sings?'), ho when they want a number for an answer (Ho da = 'How many X 's?'), 
and ha when they want a connective for an answer (Da ha de = 'X is how connected to Y ?'). 

The result is an utterly novel but very flexible system of interrogation that is capable of 
translating with great precision all the guestions of natural language and a great many more 
besides. Questions like 'When?' and 'Why?' are still missing from our catalog. These will be 
supplied in the next section through the good offices of the argument interrogative hu. 

5.12 Relative Interrogatives with -hu 

The next group of words are free modifiers again, but also guestion- forming words. These are 
the relative interrogatives made by postfixing the suffix -hu to any of the relative operators 
described in Section 5.5 . This move produces words like nahu [nah-hoo] = na + hu = 'at' + 'what 
(time)?' or 'when?', vihu [vee-hoo] = vi + hu = 'in' + 'what (place)?' or 'where?', kouhu [koh-OO- 
hoo] = kou + hu = 'because of + 'what (event)?' or 'why?' and all their diverse kin. Speaking one 
or more of these words in any sentence will turn it into a guestion. We are beginning to see why 
we do not use the guestion mark in Loglan text. Nor do we need, but of course may freely use, 
the rising tonal contour that is the sign of a guestion in many natural tongues. Utterances become 
guestions in Loglan when they contain one or more interrogative words. So Loglan guestions do 
not have to be marked by rising pitch in speech, nor by guestion-marks in text. A spoken word 
will have told the listener that it is a guestion da has heard. 

The interrogative compounds made with -hu are, as mentioned, free modifiers. Unlike the 
relative operators on which they are based-na, vi and kou, for example- whose intricate 
grammatical work is strictly controlled by the grammar, the addition of the postfix -hu to these 
words apparently insulates them from all such problems. It makes them positionally free. What 
this means in practice is that they may be used anywhere in any sentence without fear of 
producing grammatical ambiguities. 

This is an important principle. But what makes it true? Because na, for example-one of the 
many parents of these words- is open-ended to the right. Na may or may not take an argument. It 
may or may not be an inflector of a predicate, or a tense operator. That is to say, na may function 
as the sentence modifier na, which means 'now'; or it may function as the head of a modifying 
phrase like na la Ven, when it means 'at', 'during' or 'while'; or it may function as the inflector of 
a predicate expression, as in Da na kicmu = 'X is now a doctor.' Whether it is doing the one 

thing or the other in any given case is found out by parsing the utterance in which it occurs. So 
these are matters which must be strictly controlled by the grammar in order to avoid syntactic 
ambiguities. Not so with nahu. The compound nahu--which is really a compacted phrase~is 
grammatically closed at both ends. That is, it can absorb nothing to its left and nothing to its 
right. Like English 'certainly' or 'however', it can get into no grammatical trouble. Therefore it is 
free to be used anywhere. 

So all relative interrogatives-and there are in principle hundreds of them in Loglan-have 
exactly the same grammatical distribution as the Loglan vocatives and attitudinals. In fact, the 
grammar of these interrogatives is so simple they are all members of the UI Lexeme, a lexeme 
which takes its name from the happiest of the attitudinals. Like other free modifiers, the hu- 
interrogatives are taken to modify the whole utterance they precede when spoken initially. In this 
position they turn the utterance into a guestion that has no special interrogative emphasis on any 
of its parts: 

(1) Nahu tu pa mercea la Pol When did you get married 

(married-become) to Paul? 
/NA hutupamerC EalaPOL/ 

(2) Kouhu tu pa mercea la Pol Why (from what external cause) 

did you marry Paul? 
/koU hutupamerC E alaP L/ 

(3) Moihu tu pa mercea la Pol Why (from what motive) did you 

marry Paul? 

(4) Rauhu [rah-OO-hoo] tu pa mercea la Why (for what reason) did you 
Pol marry Paul? 

/raUhutupamerC E alaPO L/ 

Obviously, there can be many varieties of why in Loglan. We will discover why that is so, and 
what kind of why that 'why' is, in the last sections of this chapter. 

Let us now observe what happens when speakers choose to use one of these guestion- making 
words in a non-initial position. The result is still a guestion, but of a rather different kind: 

(5) Tu rauhu pa mercea la Pol Why did you marry Paul? 

(Literally, You-why married 

Table 5.3 The 27 Discursive Modifiers 

bea [beigh-ah] (bleka = 'look') For example/For instance (cf . piu) 

biu [byoo] (blicu = 'possible') Hence it is possible that 

buo [bwoo] (bufpo = 'opposite') However/In contrast/On the contrary 

cea [sheigh-ah] ( cenj a = 'change') That is/In other words 

ceu [sheigh-oo] (clesi = 'without') Anyway/In any case 

cia [shyah] (clika = 'like') Similarly/Like the foregoing 

coa [shoh-ah] (corta = 'short') In short/In sum/By way of summary 

dau [dah-oo] (dakli = 'probable') Hence it is probable that 

dou [doh-oo] (donsu = 'give') Given/By hypothesis/As assumed 

fae [fah-eh] (fanve = 'reverse') And vice versa (reverses the order of terms) 

fao [fow] (fando = 'end') Finally/In conclusion 

feu [feigh-oo] (fekto = 'fact') In fact/Actually/Indeed 

gea [geigh-ah] (genza = 'again') Again/I repeat 

kuo [kwoh] (kusmo = 'custom') Usually/Customarily 

kuu [kwoo] (kumtu = 'common') Generally/Generalizing from the above 

nao [now] (Eng. 'Now') Changing topics/(New paragraph) 

nie [nyeh] (snire = 'near') In detail/Looking closely 

pae [pah-eh] (prase = 'continue') And so forth/etc. 

piu [pyoo] (plizo = 'use') In particular/Applying the above (cf. bea) 

rea [reigh-ah] (frena = 'in front') Clearly/Obviously 

saa [SAH-ah] (sapla = 'simple') Loosely/Roughly/Simply speaking 

sii [SEE-ee] (simci = 'seem') Apparently/Evidently 

sui [swee] (sumji = 'sum') Also/Moreover/Besides/Furthermore/Too/In addition 

taa [TAH-ah] (trana = 'turn') In turn/In seguence 

toe [TOH-eh] (to = 'two') Respectively 

vau [vah-oo] (vain' = 'jump') Skipping details 

zou [zoh-oo] (dzoru = 'walk') By the way/Incidentally 

(6) Tu pa mercea rauhu la Pol Why did you marry Paul? (Y ou 

married-why Paul? 

/tupamerC E araUhulaPO L/ 

(7) Tu pa mercea la Pol rauhu Why did you marry Paul? (Y ou 

married Paul-why?) 

/tupamerC EalaPO L .raUhu/ 
Any of the hundreds of relative interrogatives may be used in all these entertaining ways. 

5.13 Discursive Modifiers 

When a speaker wishes to call the listener's attention to some aspect of the flow of discourse, da 
uses one or more discursive modifiers. These are single Loglan words which function much as 
phrases like 'For example', 'In short', and And so forth' do in English. Generally Loglan speakers 

use discursives to call attention to a comparison, contrast or inference that may be drawn or 
found between the current sentence- the one in which the modifier resides-and certain foregoing 
portions of the discourse. 

There are presently twenty-seven of these discursive words in Loglan; see Table 5.3 . They form 
an open class which may be added to at any time. All are CVV in form and all the current ones 
have been derived from primitive predicates selected to suggest their meanings.— 

Like all free modifiers, discursives only modify the utterance as a whole when they are initial in 

( 1 ) B ea da ditca For example, X is a teacher. 


(2) Buo de cirna In contrast Y is a student. 


(3) Sui da turka le botsu Moreover, X works on the boat. 


This is their usual position. But non- initial positions in the utterance are also possible. 

(4) Da ditca bea X teaches, for example (as an 

instance of a more general activity 
mentioned earlier). 


(5) De buo cirna Y , in contrast (to some X ), is a 


(6) Da turka leda gardi sui X works on his garden, too (in 

addition to working on something 

But note this. Sentences (l)-(6) must be initial in their speeches else they would be marked with 
I. So from the absence of a resident I- word we know that these are either the first or the only 
utterances in their speeches. But it is the role of a discursive word to comment on foregoing 
portions of a discourse. Therefore the sutori (from Loglan su + to + ri) utterances in speeches are 
much more freguently adorned with discursives than speech- initiating utterances are. Moreover, 
when discursives are initial in sutori utterances they are often compounded with the continuation 
operator I: 

(7) Ro le frasi ga smina turka. Ibea [ee- Many of the French (people) are 
BEIGH-ah] la Pi,e'r, ditca mental workers. For example, 

Pierre is a teacher. 

The compounding move is not obligatory, however. The speaker may choose to pause after the 
word I-which usually means stressing it as well-and that keeps the two operators, and their 
functions, separate: 

(8) Ro le frasi ga smina turka. I, bea la Many of the French are mental 
Pi,e'r ; ditca workers. And, for example, Pierre 

is a teacher. 


The Ibea-usage is likely to be more freguently employed than the I, bea-one, however. 

Grammatically, compound words like Ibea, Ibuo and Isui [ee-BEIGH-ah ee-BOO-oh EE-swee] 
are no longer strictly discursives. Specially modified as they are to be at the head of an utterance, 
they are no longer "free to go anywhere". Instead, like I itself, the I-prefixed discursives are 
members of the I Lexeme. They are I-words; so these words, too, mark the joints, in multi- 
utterance speeches, between one parsable unit of discourse and the next one.— 

5.14 Parenthetic Remarks with kie...kiu 

Parenthetic remarks are also free modifiers in Loglan for they, too, may be used anywhere. No 
problems are likely to arise for speakers and writers of European languages in using Loglan 
parentheses. The written forms of these languages all use parentheses in ways that are similar to 
Loglan. So for Europeans, learning to use the Loglan parentheses in speech will be just another 
instance of learning to speak a familiar punctuation mark out loud. 

There is a novelty introduced by this particular application of the spoken punctuation principle, 
however, and that is that, by using the two spoken words kie [kyeh] and kiu [kyoo] in ways that 
can be modeled on the speaker's customary use of opening and closing parenthesis in everyday 
writing-whatever da's custom is-Loglan speakers may learn to warn their listeners that they are 
about to embark on a gualification or an excursion, perhaps a long one, but that eventually they 
will return to the point at hand. This almost never happens in natural speech. Y et every user of a 
written opening parenthesis makes da's readers just this implicit promise: 'Permit me this aside, 
but I promise to return'; and to use a closing one is like saying 'There. I'm back. We can now get 
on with what we were talking about.' With the spoken parentheses of Loglan, the same 
sentiments can be spoken briskly; so the same courtesy, and the same social pressure to observe 
it, may become available in speech. 

Pauses generally precede both the opening parenthesis and the closing one. As usual any such 
pauses are represented by commas in text. Neither the commas nor the pauses they represent are 
obligatory, however. 

(1) La Selis Djonz, kie Mi pa condi cluva Sally Jones (I loved her deeply) 
da, kiu pa sorme lemi fremi was a sister of my friend. 


Sometimes, as in this specimen, the initial letter of the enclosed remark is capitalized. In 
translating such spoken parentheses into written English, it is often just as appropriate to use a 
pair of dashes (--): 

(l 1 ) Sally Jones-I loved her deeply--was a sister of my friend. 

The choice between dashes and parentheses tends to be idiolectic in English, so the translator 
should follow da's own writing customs in this regard. 

The parenthetic remark itself may be of any grammatical type whatever, and as simple or 
complex as the speaker or writer likes: 

(2) La Selis Djonz, kie Mi djadou ei tu Sally Jones-I did tell you about 
da, kiu pa sorme lemi fremi her?-was a sister of my friend. 


(3) La Selis Djonz, kie Ueuiua, kiu pa Sally Jones-Wow!-was a sister 
sorme lemi fremi of my friend. 


Indeed any utterance or utterance string whatever may appear between parentheses. 

When a parenthetic remark is initial it modifies, as usual, the entire utterance. So such a 
parenthetic comment at the head of a speech often has the effect of a label. For example, a 
playwrite might choose to identify da's characters in this way: 

(4) (La Hamlet) Lepo dzabi, onoi lepo no (Hamlet) To be, or not to be. 

Read aloud-as, for example, by the prompter-this would be: 

(4') Kie La Hamlet, kiu Lepo dzabi, onoi lepo no dzabi 

/kielaHA M letkiulepoD ZA bi.onoilepoNO .D ZA bi/ 

whereas the actor himself might read it: 

(4") Lepo dzabi, onoi lepo no dzabi 


In Loglan text the parenthesizing words kie and kiu, together with any attendant commas, may 
of course always be replaced by their conventional symbols. Thus the biographer could write: 

(5) Da pa morce (lopo tubherkulosi She died (tuberculosis) before her 
[toob-hehr-koo-LOH-see]) pa leda twentieth year. 

toniri nirne 

and the reader would read aloud 

For as always, the written symbols '(' and ')' are pronounced like the words they replace. 

5.15 Utterance Sequencers with -fi 

This simple but in principle, infinite category of words contains the last of the free modifiers and 
need not detain us long. Any guantifier, whether numerical or not-or any letter-variable, for that 
matter- -may be postfixed with the suffix -fi to generate a compound little word, for example Nefi 
[NEH-fee] 'firstly' or 'primarily'. Such words may be used to remind the listener- or the speaker 
daself, for that matter- of the position of some utterance, or some portion of an utterance, in 
some seguence of such elements in da's speech. 

The guantifiers most freguently used as seguencers are, of course, the positive integers: ne to te, 
etc., giving Nefi Tofi Tefi [NEH-fee TOH-fee TEH-fee] 'firstly' 'secondly' 'thirdly', etc., as the 
seguencers. Often these words may be more simply translated as 'first' 'second' 'third', etc., or 
even as 'one' 'two' 'three'. Decimalized numbers may also be used, Nepinefi Nepitofi [neh-pee- 
NEH-fee neh-pee-TOH-fee], etc., as for the sections of this book. Alphabetic seguencers may 
also be used. They may be either Latin or Greek, or upper or lower case. For example, Amafi 
Baifi Caifi [AHM-mah-fee BIGH-fee SHIGH-fee], etc., illustrate the use of Latin capitals as 
utterance seguencers. 

A common, but certainly not the only, position for these free modifiers is at the heads of the 
utterances they seguence. When this is the case the first seguencer is capitalized and the sutori 
ones are prefixed with the continuation connective I-, giving Itofi Itefi Ifofi [ee-TOH-fee ee- 
TEH-fee ee-FOH-fee], etc., as the markers of the sutori utterances in the seguence. This is 
exactly what happens to the discursives in these same positions ( Section 5.13 ) and imparts a 
recipe- like structure to the speech: 

(1) Nefi, kutla le mitro su nera inca pisku First, cut the meat into some (at 

least one) one- inch pieces. 

(2) Itofi, jarklu [ZHAR-kloo] le palto And-second, slice (thin-cut) the 


(3) Itefi, nenbromao [nen-BROH-mough] And-third, break in (in-break- 
te frese negda make) three fresh eggs. 


(4) Ifofi, tensea [ten-SEIGH-ah] le krima, And- fourth, add (increase put) the 
e le vinjo cream and the wine. 


(5) Ifefi, gudbi mismao [MEES-mough] And-fifth, mix (mixture- make) 

well (literally, good mix). 
(6) Irafi, kokfa le miksa vi ne zavno nia And-finally, cook the mixture in 
nepife horto an oven for (during) one-point- 

five hours. 

We have now completed our survey of both sentence modifiers and free modifiers. We have just 
one more type of modifier to consider, and these are the argument modifiers ('John the teacher' = 
La Djan, ji le ditca). These, however, will reguire us to understand the distinction between 
"predication" and "identification" . We can best do this by first understanding its application to 
sentences and guestions. So it is these topics that we must now take up. 

5.16 Identity Sentences with bi and bie^ 

In Section 5.11 we found that a speaker could inguire about the identity of someone or 
something simply by preceding any designation of that person or thing with the interrogative ie . 

(1) Ie la Djan Who is John? (Literally, Which 

the John?) 

is a guestion about the identity of someone named John. An adeguate answer would be an 
alternative, though better, designation. We can also ask the same kind of guestion with hu: 

(2) Hu farfu la Selis Who is the father of Sally? 

(Literally, Who fathers Sally?) 

For this, too, asks for a designation as an answer. 

Usually such guestions arise when the designation which some listener has been given fails to 
locate the designated thing for that listener. There are five Johns in the room, let us say. Someone 
tells you John is a chemist' So you say 'Which John?' Or, with some ponderousness, perhaps: 
'Whom do you mean to designate with the name John'?' 

Such guestions simply ask for better designations. Useful answers might be 'That tall man over 
there', or John Jones', or 'Mary's brother', and so on. Y ou succeed in identifying something for 
someone when you provide a designation that really works for that someone, that is, one that 
enables da to single out the thing or set of things- perhaps only in da's mind-you are actually 
talking about. Thus 

(3) Leva langa mrenu That long (i.e., tall) man. 


(4) LaDjanDjonz John Jones. 


(5) LebrudijelaMeris Mary's brother. 


are all possible answers to questions (1) and (2). They are therefore all possible utterances. 
Because they are nothing but argument forms, and are not in themselves, sentences, we will 
sometimes call this form of utterance an identification. An identification is, of course, just one of 
the many kinds of answers. Its grammar is extremely simple; for clearly every designating 
argument form of the language is a potential answer. 

But our answer to questions (1) or (2) may be even more explicit. Just as we can say in English 
John is Mary's brother' in answer to such questions, so we can produce what we will now call an 
identity sentence in Loglan: 

(6) La Djan, bi le brudi je la Selis John is (identical to) the brother 

of Sally. 

(7) Da bi la Djan Djonz X is John Jones. 


Such sentences-and they are sentences-say nothing about anyone. They simply equate two 
different designations of the same thing. So what they are about is designations that have a 
common designatum. Thus the little word bi is a kind of predicate, but a very special kind. It 
means 'The expression '...' designates the same thing as the expression '...' does.' Usually, the 
argument to the left of bi is unfamiliar, and the argument to its right is a designation of the same 
object which is more familiar to the listener.. .or so the speaker hopes. Suppose, for example, you 
have never heard the name 'Samuel Clemens'. Hearing it for the first time you are likely to ask 
'Who's Samuel Clemens?' And the speaker could well answer 'Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain.' 
Or in Loglan 

(8) La Semiul [SEM-yool] Klemenz, bi la Samuel Clemens is (the same 
M ark Tuein person as) M ark Twain. 


Have you been told anything about either Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain? No. But you have 
been told something about his two names, namely, that both of them designate the same person. 
This is useful-and indirectly it tells you that whoever he was he had (at least) two names- but it 
is not a sentence about Mark Twain.— 

Identity sentences are obscure creatures in the natural languages. For they travel under the same 
grammatical guise as predication sentences. Suppose I tell you John is the father of Paul' in 
English. Am I identifying John? Or predicating something about him and Paul? Out of context it 
is impossible to tell. But if I have asked you who John is and you then tell me that he is the father 

of Paul, you are identifying him. For you are telling me that the man I can (presumably) locate as 
the father of Paul is also the person you mean to designate when you say 'John'. But if I know 
who John is and then ask you what he is or what John does, and you tell me that John is a 
teacher, or one of Mary's brothers, or that he is the father of Paul, you have told me something 
both testable and useful about John, and this reguires that you use a predication sentence if you 
are speaking Loglan.— 

Now in some cases we can sense this same difference between predication and identity in the 
English shift from 'the' to 'a', as in the following pair of sentences: 

(9) La Djan, bi le brudi je la Selis John is the brother of Sally (that is 

the one I mean). 


(10) La Djan, brudi la Selis John is a brother of Sally (she 

may have several). 

And in these cases, the difference between the English predication sentence and the 
corresponding identity sentence is unusually clear. But some predicate relations connect 
individuals uniguely. Paul can have only one father, and in English we would therefore never say 
John is a father of Paul.' Thus in the case of the following pair of sentences 

(1 1) La Djan, bi le farfu je la Pol John is the father of Paul. 

/laD J A N .bileFA Rfuj elaPO L/ 

( 12) La Djan, farfu la Pol John is the father of Paul. 


there is no perceivable difference between the English sentences. Y et a very clear difference 
exists in Loglan. 

Identity sentences will not be easy for the English speaker to recognize, not even in his own 
speech. Therefore the Loglan difference between identities and predications- -a difference which 
is fundamental to any logical language-will for a time seem arbitrary and unnecessary. But 
perhaps the following rule of thumb will help. When you are trying to help your listener locate 
something which da has failed to locate from some earlier designation, then you will probably do 
so with identity sentences, even in English. But when guestions of identity are, at last, cleared 
up, and your listener knows who Samuel Clemens is, then your subseguent remarks about him- 
for example, that he informed a certain newspaper that the reports of his death were greatly 
exaggerated-will almost undoubtedly be delivered in predication sentences. For only these give 
information about the non- linguistic world. 

There is a second identity operator which, in natural language, is used chiefly by mathematicians 
and logicians. This is the membership operator which means ' a member of class...'; and in 
Loglan is bie. Membership sentences- -for so we can now call them-are formed with bie exactly 
as the more common type of identity sentences are formed with bi. Thus: 

(13) La Djan ; bie leva te mrenu John is one of those three men. 

/laDJ A N .bielevateM REnu/ 

( 1 4) D a bie le natra numcu X is one of the natural numbers 

(that is, a member of the set of 
natural numbers). 

(15) La Ter ; bie le telfoa [tehl-FOH-ah] je The Earth is one of the planets 
la Sol (Earth-forms) of the Sun. 


Note that the objects designated on the right of bie are here assumed to be sets, not singular 
individuals. Thus (15) differs from (15a) La Ter, bi le telfoa je la Sol (The Earth is the planet of 
the Sun (i.e., the one I have in mind)') only in its operator; yet the designation on the right now 
has a different meaning. 

Like identities, membership sentences are useful chiefly in settling guestions which arise from 
obscure designations. But unlike identity sentences, membership sentences do not single out 
familiar individuals, but familiar sets of individuals among which the individual in guestion is 
presumably to be found. Thus if you have never heard of either Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain, 
I may not be able to identify him for you, but I can at least give you one of his memberships: 

(16) La Mark Tuein, bie le grada ge merki Mark Twain is one of the great 
srite go neveri heknirne American writers of the 19th 

Century (hectoyear). 


(The last pause is a phrasing pause and optional.) I may not have succeeded in locating him for 
you; but at least you know where to look.— 

The uses of identities and membership sentences in mathematics and logic are matters beyond 
the scope of this book. Perhaps it will suffice to suggest the importance of this topic for these 
disciplines to say that mathematics especially is almost entirely concerned with guestions of 
identity. When you are asked in mathematics what number X is-and you are given, for example, 
the identifying information that X 2 +2X = 15--you are being asked, not for a predicate which is 
true of X, but for another and more satisfactory designation of the particular (unknown) number 
that is designated by X . When you "solve" such an eguation you find such a designation. And it 
will in truth help you locate X among the natural numbers.— 

5.17 Identifying vs. Predicating Modifiers 

We are now ready to take up the last variety of Loglan modifiers, the a rgument modifiers. These 
are the prepositional phrases, subordinate clauses, adverbs and even modifying arguments that 
are made local in their effects by being attached to the preceding argument. This is accomplished 
by one of the modifying linkersji ja, jiejaeorjiojao[zheezhah, zhee-eh zhah-eh, zhyoh 

zhough]. Every argument modifier is marked with one of these six links, and all of them localize 
the effect of the linked modifier: 

(1) Lemibrudijivilevihasfa, gaditcalo My brother-the one in this house- 
helna -teaches Greek. 


(The pauses in this and the following sentences are all phrasing pauses and would be eliminated 
in rapid speech.) If we remove the localizing link ji from (1), the phrase vi levi hasfa becomes of 
course a sentence modifier: 

(2) Lemi brudi vi levi hasfa, ga ditca lo My brother, in this house, teaches 
helna Greek. 

which, as we learned in Section 5.4 , makes substantially the same claim as 

(3) Lemi brudi ga ditca lo helna vi levi My brother teaches Greek in this 
hasfa house. 


If, now, we link vi levi hasfa to the preceding argument in this new position, we get guite a 
different story: 

(4) Lemi brudi ga ditca lo helna ji vi levi My brother teaches the Greek 
hasfa which is (say, spoken) in this 


What my brother teaches is that particular dialect, perhaps, that is spoken in this house. All of the 
six modifying links localize modification in this way. 

But the links have different senses and some take different kinds of operands. J i is the identity 
link. It makes the information added by the modifier play a part in identifying the designatum of 
the argument to which it is attached. In (1), for example, it says that the one of my brothers I am 
talking about (presumably I have several) is the one who is in this house. In (4) ji narrows down 
the vast domain of all things (linguistically) Greek to that particular portion of it that is "in this 
house". J i will link arguments, relative operators, clauses, and even sentences without first 
arguments to (other) arguments in this same restrictive way: 

(5) Lemi brudi ji le ditca ga gudbi mrenu My brother the teacher is a good 


/lemiB RUdij ileD LTcagaG UD biM REnu/ 

(6) Lemi brudi ji ditca lo helna ga gudbi My brother who teaches Greek is 

mrenu a good man. 


Both (5) and (6) add restrictions to the designation given by the argument so-modified, namely 
Lemi brudi. Sentence (5) does so by offering an alternative designation (le ditca) in case the 
first one (Lemi brudi) fails; (6) does so by adding a predication but in an identifying way. 
Perhaps the speaker has several brothers who teach, and this is the one who teaches Greek. 

Or perhaps both speaker and listener are in the same room with the speaker's brother. So the 
speaker may improve da's designation by linking it to the simple locator va: 

(7) Lemi brudi ji va, ga gudbi mrenu My brother over there is a good 



Notice that in all these sentences, a modifier linked with ji identifies. 

But just as we distinguish in Loglan between identity sentences and predication sentences, so we 
must now draw the same distinction between modifiers that identify and modifiers that make 
claims about the world. Thus instead of identifying something or someone, a speaker may wish 
to use a modifier to make a subsidiary claim about some already identified object in the course of 
making some larger claim about it: 

(8) Lemi brudi ja ditca lo helna, ga gudbi My brother, who teaches Greek, is 
mrenu a good man. 


In sentence (8) the predicating link j a performs the same grammatical function of attaching the 
predicate clause ditca lo helna to lemi brudi that ji performs in (6), but with the notably 
different message that my brother is, incidentally, a teacher of Greek. Such subordinate clauses 
may, of course, be much more elaborate than this. For example: 

(9) Lemi brudi, ja ditca lo gleca le friki My brother, who incidentally 

na lo dotra vi la G anta Silezias, ga teaches English to the Africans in 
gudbi mrenu the wintertime in Upper Silesia, is 

a good man. 
/lemiB RUdij aD ITcaloG LEcaleFRIkinaloD OTravilaG A Nta.- 

And this in turn, can be turned into an identification very simply by replacing the little word j a 
by ji: 

(10) Lemi brudi ji ditca lo gleca le friki na My brother-the one who teaches 
lo dotra vi la Ganta Silezias, ga gudbi English to the Africans in the 
mrenu wintertime in Upper Silesia-is a 

good man. 

One sometimes has to make rather strenuous efforts in the English-using phrases like 'the one' ; 
'incidentally ', dashes, and the like- to make such distinctions clearly. But in Loglan, being a 
logical language, this important distinction is drawn phonemicaHy by the linking words 

Notice that there is no difference in truth-conditions between the claim of (9) above, with its 
subordinate predicating clause, and the same claim made with the same subject and a connected 

(11) Lemi brudi ga ditca lo gleca le friki My brother teaches English to the 
na lo dotra vi la G anta Silezias, e Africans in the wintertime in 
gudbi mrenu Upper Silesia, and is a good man. 


Sentence (11) is not a legitimate transform of (10); for as we have noted several times, 
identifying information may be false and still be useful.. .that woman may still be a man. But the 
function served by predicating modifiers, as distinct from the locating function served by 
identifying ones, is to permit the speaker to claim less important things in a by-the-way fashion 
while making more important claims directly. Thus the hearer clearly understands from (9) that it 
is the fact that the speaker's brother is a good man that is the main burden of the speaker's 
message, and that the business of where and what the brother teaches is only incidental 
information. While from 

(12) Lemi brudi, ja gudbi mrenu, ga ditca My brother, who is incidentally a 
lo gleca le friki na lo dotra vi la Ganta good man, teaches English to the 
Silezias Africans in the wintertime in 

Upper Silesia. 


which is eguivalentto (9) by way of (11), the listener would form the opposite impression 


Note that both identifications with ji and predications with j a may be accomplished in the same 

(13) Lemi brudi ji la Djan, ja ditca ga My brother John, who 

gudbi mrenu incidentally teaches, is a good 



Or several identifications: 

(14) Lemi brudi ji la Djan ; ji ditca ga My brother John (the one) who 
gudbi mrenu teaches is a good man. 


Or several predications: 

(15) Lemi brudi ja ditca lo gleca la Pidr ; ja My brother, who incidentally 
pa kamla la A 'frikas, ga gudbi mrenu teaches English to Peter, who 

incidentally came from Africa, is 
a good man. 

The word 'incidentally', while it translates no word in the Loglan expression directly, seems to 
express the predicative nature of ja-clauses guite adeguately in English. Without such clarifying 
asides such matters are difficult to be clear about in English. 

Another pair of modifier linkers are jio [zhyoh] and jao [zhough]. In this pairjio is the identifier 
and jao the predicator, and both have the sense of English 'such that'. Both allow supplementary 
information to be incorporated in the main sentence in the form of a subordinate sentence in 
which the argument shared by the two sentences is not initial: 

( 1 6) D a j io la Dj an, pa donsu le botci da, X , such that J ohn gave the boy X , 
pa nigra horma was a black horse. 


In more usual English, we would say, 'The gift that John gave the boy was a black horse.' By 
converting donsu with fu and linking two of its arguments, the same thing can be said with much 
the same word order in Loglan: 

(17) Le fu donsu je le botci jue la Djan, pa The gift given the boy by John 
nigro horma was a black horse. 


Note that (17) makes no subsidiary claims; for the predicate relation between the gift, the boy 
and John, which might be thought to have been claimed in (16), is part of the identifying 
description in (17). It is for this reason that we interpret constructions formed with jio to be 
identifying rather than predicating clauses. 

But the same clause can be predicatively linked to Da with jao: 

(18) Da jao la Djan, pa donsu le botci da, X-and by the way, John gave the 
pa nigro horma boy X --was a black horse. 

/daj aolaD J A N .paD NsuleB OTcida.paNIG roHO Rma/ 

Now, because of jao ; the Loglan listener will know that the ensuing clause is meant to convey, 
not an identification, but a subsidiary claim. The phrase 'and by the way' helps to express this 
intention in English. But while the intent of the Loglan is clear, it is not until we speak the two 
claims as separate English utterances that we realize fully what the English of (18) is really 

(19) Da pa nigra horma. I la Djan, pa X was a black horse. And John 
donsu le botci da gave the boy X . 


The way to determine whether an argument modifier in a natural language sentence deserves a 
predicating link in its Loglan translation is to unwind the two clauses as separate assertions first 
and then judge whether their joint assertion is the intent of the original sentence. Thus (18) is 
clearly eguivalentto (19) while (16) egually clearly is not.— 

Both identifying and predicating clauses apply to the argument they immediately follow. Thus in 

(20) LebradijelaDjan, jileditcapa The brother of John the teacher 
gudbi mrenu was a good man. 


the identification ji le ditca applies to John, not his brother. But in case we do wish to make an 
identification apply to an entire specified description we must first close off that description with 
the closing comma gu, as follows: 

(21) Le brudi je la Djan, gu ji le ditca, pa The brother-of-John-who is the 
gudbi mrenu teacher-was a good man. 


Now it is the brother who is being further identified as the teacher. But, as the translation 
suggests, it is difficult to make such distinctions in English. There will be more on the uses of 
punctuators in Sections 5.20-21. 

Finally, the pair of modifier links jie and jae exists to permit class- membership clauses to be 
used in either an identifying or a predicating way. As usual, the one that contains the phoneme HI 
is identifying: 

(22) La Plutos, jie le la Sol, telfoa, ga The Pluto that is one of Sol's 
kleda la Ter planets is colder than Earth. 

while the one that contains the /a/ is predicating: 

(23) La Plutos, jae le la Sol telfoa, ga Pluto, which is (incidentally one 
kleda la Ter of Sol's planets, is colder than 


In English it is often difficult to tell whether the speaker means to predicate or to identify with 
da's subordinate clauses. For example, without reading their parenthetic portions '(The)' and 
'(incidentally)' aloud, the sense of the English translations of (22) and (23) seem to differ only 
slightly if at all.. .despite the presence of commas in the latter and their absence in the former, a 
feature that is supposed to settle this matter in English text. But in fact, it rarely does. Pauses in 
speech are egually helpless to make these distinctions unambiguously. 

But in Loglan the small phonemic difference in the links themselves makes this subtle difference 
clearly. We have learned to expect this. For the Loglan speaker must be clear about whether da is 
identifying something or claiming something to be true of it whenever da uses an argument 
modifier.. .if only because there is no way da can speak Loglan without doing the one thing or the 
other clearly. In Loglan there is thus no middle ground between predication and identification, as 
there apparently is in English. m — 

5.18 Punctuation 

To punctuate an utterance is to insert a syntactic marker at a point at which, if the marker were 
removed, the utterance would be perfectly grammatical but would mean something that one does 
not intend. The syntactic marker may be nothing more than a pause-comma, i.e., a pause in 
speech and a comma in text. Or it may be a g- initial word like ga or gu. Punctuation, therefore, is 
the avoidance of unintended meanings through the use of special markers whose entire function 
is syntactic, that is, which do nothing other than distinguish one structural arrangement of the 
words of an utterance from some other. 

Punctuation is a surprisingly simple topic in Loglan. Apart from the morphological occasions for 
pausing- which are few enough: (i) the pauses after names, (ii) before those names that are not 
immediately preceded by la or hoi, (iii) before all vowel- initial predicate words, (iv) before all 
eks whether vowel- initial or not, and (v) before predicate words when the just- preceding syllable 
is stressed-there are relatively few types of Loglan constructions that need punctuating; and very 
often the punctuation they do need is the simplest of all punctuation, the pause-comma. We will 
list in the next four sections all the constructions that ever need punctuating in Loglan. But, as 
we'll see, not even these constructions always reguire it. 

For completeness we begin the next section by reviewing the punctuating move with ga that we 
already know. Then in Section 5.20 we will deal with the major clause punctuator, which is gu. 
In Section 5.21 the uses of two punctuators ga and gi in effecting abnormal word-orders will be 
described; and in Section 5.22 the three specific punctuators gue gui guo will be discussed. 

5. 19 Marking Main Predicates with ga 

When the main predicate of a sentence is untensed and otherwise unmarked, and when the last 
preceding element that is not a free modifier is a predicate word, then ga is used just before that 
main predicate to prevent it from being absorbed into the preceding predicate string. For 

(1) Le mrenu ia, ga tsitoa [tsee-TOH-ah] The man, certainly, is a thief (is 

one who takes criminally). 

Note that ia alone does not perform this predicate-protecting function: 

(2) Le mrenu ia tsitoa The man (type), certainly, (of) 

thief. (The one who is a man? Or 
steals men?). 

Thus (2) is an answer, not a sentence. 

Since free modifiers may go anywhere, their appearance at some particular point in an utterance 
is without grammatical significance. So, as far as the parser is concerned, they might as well not 
be there.— 

Notice also that, while free modifiers can't do it, any relative operator can perform ga's role. 

(3) Le mrenu kou tsitoa The man is "causedly" a thief. 


In fact, ga, like kou, is just another member of the PA Lexeme, the lexeme that contains all the 
relative operators ( Section 5.5 ). So ga is a relative operator, but the one which has no other 
meaning than the punctuational one. 

5.20 Marking Right-Boundaries with gu 

G u is the all-purpose comma-like word. It is used to close off a wide variety of constructions that 
would not end at just that place without it. It is thus a right- boundary marker. In fact gu is like an 
unmatched right-parenthesis. It can remain unmatched because the left- boundaries of these 
constructions are always known. 

An example we have already seen is: 

(1) Mu titci vi gu le supta We eat, here, the soup. 


Without gu the sentence modifier vi would not end, as intended, with vi itself. Instead, vi would 
absorb le supta into a longer sentence modifier, an unintended prepositional phrase: 

(2) Mu titci vi le supta We eat in the soup. 


Notice that the beginning of this modifier with vi is in either case plain. Often, but not always, a 
pause-comma will end the dubious construction just as effectively as gu does. It does in this 

(3) Mu titci vi, le supta We eat, here, the soup. 


A pause-comma may also accompany gu. It may precede it, 

(4) Mu titci vi, gu le supta We eat, here, the soup. 


or follow it, 

(4 1 ) Mu titci vi gu, le supta We eat, here, the soup. 


at the speaker's option. (There are reasons for both practices; this usage has not stabilized yet.) 

Another place where a pause- comma will often work as well as gu is after a linked argument 
inside a predicate string. This is called "internal specification": 

(5) Da kukra je lo litla, grobou [groh- X is a faster-than- light ship (big- 
BOH-oo] " boat). 


Of course gu alone, or gu preceded by a comma, would effect the same result. 

Notice that neither gu nor pause-comma is reguired to close off internal specifications when the 
last element in the specification has a firm right-hand end: 

(6) Da kukra jede grobou X is a faster-than-Y ship. 


When the last element in such a specification is a name, then the pause-comma is the 
morphologically reguired one, not the gu-surrogate: 

(7) Da kukra je la Apolo'n, grobou X is a faster- than- A polio ship. 


Gu would not be wrong here, just redundant. The right-hand edge of je la Apolo'n is already 
firm. It needs no further marking. In other words, loglanists seldom use more punctuation than is 
needed to keep their right-hand boundaries clear. 

But how do we choose between pause and gu when either would serve? Fluent loglanists will no 
doubt use pauses when dealing with knowing human listeners in conditions of low noise-living 
room conversation with loglandic friends, for example- and gu's elsewhere: with newcomers, in 
noisy conditions, or when talking to computers. Learners, however, will learn to use pauses 
sparingly- perhaps settling on gu even in places where they know a pause would do-until their 
speech is free of those unpredictable hesitations that occur while one is learning a sutori 
language: when one is searching for a word, or wondering what grammatical construction to use 
next. The often sudden disappearance of those random- seeming pauses tends to characterize the 
onset of fluency in any language. It means that you finally have its vocabulary and grammar- 
that part of it that you are using, at any rate-under firm control. When this happens all your 
pauses will be structurally meaningful to your listeners, but probably not before then. 

Another use of gu is to close up lepo-clauses to prevent them from swallowing their seguelae. 
These are often other lepo-clauses: 

(8) Mi pa rulkao [ROOL-kow] lepo santi, I was obliged (rule-acted) to be 
gu lepo helba la Bab silent in order to help Bob. 


Here the third place of rulkao ('...should/is obliged to do. order to...') is the looked-for result 
of acting in an obligatory way. With gu in place, lepo helba la Bab occupies that third place. 
But without it, the helba-clause will occupy the second place of santi ('is guieter/more silent 
than') and produce the peculiar claim: 

(9) Mi pa rulkao lepo santi lepo helba la I was obliged to be more silent 
B ab than helping B ob (was) . 


This could make sense. But it is likely to be nonsense in the situations in which (8) is intended. 
At least it is clear nonsense. 

Here's another pair of lepo-clauses that needs careful punctuating: 

(10) Lo nimla ga cnida lopo cluva, gu lopo Animals need to love in order to 
clivi live. 


(Cnida = '...needs.. .for purpose/outcome...') Dropping this gu causes the lopo clivi clause to be 
incorporated in the lopo cluva one.. .and this will happen even with a comma: 

(11) Lo nimla ga cnida lopo cluva, lopo Animals need to love living, 


Pause-commas are guite incapable of closing-off lepo-clauses. If a right-boundary mark is to be 
supplied, it must be either gu or the specific lepo- clause terminator which we will describe in 
the next section. 

Here's a somewhat different case involving lepo-clauses. In the following specimen a clause 
modifying the main sentence would be engulfed by an earlier lepo-clause if the earlier one were 
not terminated by gu: 

(12) Da pa djano lepo ti fa crina gu ; pa X knew it was going to rain here, 
lepo le neri drida fa felda (and X knew this) before the first 

drops fell. 

(The predicate crina means ' rained on by (cloud)...' So Ti crina means 'It rains here', i.e., on 
this place.) If, in this situation, we omit gu, we get a sentence which is almost impossible to think 

(13) Da pa djano lepo ti fa crina, pa lepo X knew it was going to rain here 
le neri drida fa felda before the first drops fell. 


The Loglan of (13) says thatX knew that it-was-going-to-rain- before- it- rained. Such claims are 
nearly impossible to entertain... or, what amounts to the same thing, to believe are being made. 
But we know that this is the claim of Loglan (13) for in it pa lepo le neri drida fa felda ('before 
the first drops fell') is plainly a modifier of the sentence ti fa crina ('it was going to rain here'). 
Like the kindred notion that someone Y was born before Y was born, such "knowledge" shakes 
our faith in the universe.. .or would do if we believed for a moment that anyone possessed it. But 
what we do with sentences like English (13) is interpret them "sensibly", that is, as if they said 
(12). In fact, it is almost impossible to speak the English sentences (12) and (13) in ways that 
even faintly suggest the remarkable difference that will be so plain in the Loglan once we 
understand it. But our minds want to stay in their comfortable plausibility tracks. So to show 
what Loglan (13) actually does mean we are obliged to construct another Loglan sentence, one 
with exactly the same grammatical structure as (13), but this time with a plausible meaning: 

(14) Da pa djano lepo ti fa nicycri X knew it was going to snow here 
[NEESH-uh-shree] pa lepo le neri (snow-rain) before the first leaves 
clife fa felda fell. 


Now pa lepo le neri clife fa felda is firmly (and plausibly) part of the larger lepo-clause about ti 
fa nicycri. This is knowledge we can believe someone actually might have.. .unlike the 
grammatically parallel claim of (13) ; which we can hardly entertain anyone's making. 

Another type of structure which freguently reguires closing with gu is that of the connected 
predicate. In this context gu may never be shortened to a pause. The occasion for closing off 
such a structure with gu arises when a speaker has spoken a string of two or more connected 
predicates, and what da then has to say applies to all of them. For example, 

(15) Da fundi, e norfundi gu ; la Pit X likes, and dislikes, Pete. 


Because gu turns la Pit in this sentence into the joint argument of both predicates, we may infer 
both that X likes Pete and that X dislikes Pete.. .difficult to do, perhaps, but not impossible. The 
point is that without gu only the second of these inferences is allowable: 

(16) Da fundi, e norfundi la Pit X likes (someone or something) 

and dislikes Pete. 

To see that this is the only correct interpretation of (16), let us examine the following series of 
sentences. Some are punctuated by gu and some are unpunctuated: 

(17) Da fundi lo grato, e norfundi la Pit X likes cake and dislikes Pete. 


(18) Da fundi lo grato, e norfundi gu la Pit X likes cake more than, and 

dislikes, Pete. 

Here we are suggesting that a joint argument may be a third argument of one connected predicate 
(fundi = 'likes.. .more than...') and, at the same time, the second argument of another (norfundi = 
'dislikes... more than...'). One is not reguired to speak or write in this way, of course, but it is clear 
that one may do so. both languages. 

(19) Da fundi lo grato, e norfundi la Pit, X likes cake more than, and 

gu lo gutra sinma dislikes Pete more than, foreign 


Now the two predicate expressions are coordinate again. This time their joint argument, lo gutra 
sinma, is the third argument of both. Finally, we remove gu again and produce: 

(20) Da fundi lo grato, e norfundi la Pit, lo X likes cake, and dislikes Pete 
gutra sinma more than foreign movies. 


In other words, gu's appearance anywhere in the sequel of a set of connected predicates cuts off 
the argument and modifier sets of all the individual predicates as developed up to that point. 
Then whatever follows gu is taken as augmenting each of those separate developments. For 
example, by closing (20) with gu we may then add a joint modifier: 

(21) Da fundi lo grata, e norfundi la Pit, lo X likes cake, and dislikes Pete 
gutra sinma, gu vi levi telfoa more than foreign movies, (and 

both take place) on this planet. 
/daFUNdiloG RAto.enorFUNdilaPIT.loG UTraSINma.- 

Without gu, each predicate in a connected set of predicates develops its own set of arguments 
and modifiers independently: 

(22) Da fundi lo grata vi leva telfoa, e X likes cake on that planet, and 
norfundi la Pit, lo gutra sinma vi levi dislikes Pete more than foreign 
telfoa movies on this planet. 


So the loglanist does not take for granted that someone who says (16) "really means" (15), as we 
do so often-and so forgivingly-in English. The price of saying what one means is so small in 
Loglan-often just the effort to write or speak the little word gu-that most of us are willing to 
pay it. So in general, we loglanists make the extra effort to punctuate even our informal speech 
precisely. One consequence of this is that when we do misspeak we expect to be 
misunderstood.. .or, more precisely, we expect that what we said will be taken to have been 
meant. For we are speaking a language in which, unlike the natural ones, one can always say 
what one means. There thus arises among loglanists an obligation to mean what one says. 

A final use of gu. It may be used to effect the attachment of argument modifiers to larger and 
more distant units than the nearby small ones to which attachment is automatically made in the 
absence of gu. For example, we saw this sentence in the previous section: 

(23) Le brudi je la Djan, gu ji le ditca, ga The brother of John-the brother 
gudbi mrenu who's the teacher-is a good man. 


Here, because of gu, the identifier ji will attach itself to the whole linked argument Le brudi je 
la Djan. Without gu, of course, ji will link the modifier to the last- mentioned argument, namely 
la Djan. 

So (23) is a case of gu being used to increase what might be called the "grammatical size" of the 
modificand to which an argument modifier is being applied. These "backward" references, while 

often intended, are difficult to convey with any accuracy in natural language, and so reguire ad 
hoc interventions.. .of which the awkwardly constructed English sentence in (23) is an example. 

5.21 The Specific Terminators gue gui guo 

Terminating the scope of clauses by using gu's and/or pause-commas, as described in the 
preceding section, works perfectly well when the clauses to be terminated are nearby. But when 
a phrase or clause to be referred to began some time (or text) before-as happens freguently in 
lecturing, or in the kind of careful writing in which the writer feels obliged to gualify da's 
remarks at every turn-then a more far-reaching clause terminator is needed. For this purpose we 
have the type- specific terminators. 

Three types of clauses sometimes reguire this kind of closely-targeted termination: je/jue- 
clauses, and these can be terminated by gue; ji/ja phrases or clauses (and their kin), and these 
can be terminated by gui; and lepo- clauses (and their numerous kin), and these can be terminated 
by guo. Any of these punctuators may be used in place of a string of gu's-or in place of a single 
gu, for that matter-to reach back to the last- occurring instance of the type of clause which it is 
its business to close. In doing so it will ignore all other species of unterminated phrases and 
clauses, and zero in on its target. The difference between the specific terminators and gu is 
precisely that: gu will close the first unclosed clause or phrase it comes to in its leftward search 
for structures to close, regardless of their grammatical type. The translations of Appendix G 
contain several instances of these specifically targeted terminators at work. One can see how 
much more efficient they are than gu in deeply nested prose. 

Good usage calls for using gu whenever a single gu will do the job. If it will not, you should 
consider using one of the specific terminators in place of the string of multiple gu's that would 
otherwise be necessary. The machine could parse the latter just as well as a single specific 
terminator, of course; but humans find strings of "right parentheses"-and that is what a string of 
undifferentiated gu's amounts to-tedious to both produce and unravel. Sentences in which 
clause- specific terminators have been used are apparently much easier for humans to understand. 

5.22 Abnormal Word Order with cjagicjoi 

These last three punctuators permit non-standard, i.e., non-SVO (" Subject- Verb-Object(s)"), 
word orders to be expressed in Loglan. G a [gah] we have seen before; it is the "time-free" 
predicate marker introduced in Section 4.4 . Here it will be used to help express sentences of 
VSO and VOS ("Verb- Subject- Object" and "Verb- Object- Subject") short, all 
those abnormal word-orders in which the predicate is spoken first. Another of these 
abnormalizing punctuators is gi [gee]. It might be called the fronting operator because it permits 
sentences to be spoken in the OSV and OVS word-orders, that is, when the sutori argument(s) of 
a sentence is (are) to be spoken first. G oi [goy] is really just a variety of gi that is used to mark 
off "sentence guantifiers" . These are a special kind of logical construction which we will study in 
detail in Section 5.25. 

Let us start with the fronting operator gi. As suggested, gi is normally used to speak one or more 
of the sutori arguments ("objects") of a predicate first i.e., to "front" them: 

(1) La Mini ; a'polis ; la Seint Pol ; gi da pa (To) Minneapolis (from) Saint 
godzi Paul, X went. 


(2) Lopo clivi gi ; la Djan ; pa takna la (About) Life, John talked to 
Meris Mary. 


(3) La Meris ; lopo clivi gi ; la Djan ; pa (To) Mary (about) life, John 
takna talked. 


When gi is being used properly, the argument that is in the last place of the standard, or 
dictionary, place- structure of the main predicate will always be mentioned; for gi always follows 
this argument. Unless the gi-sentence is an imperative-in which case the predicate will 
immediately follow gi-the normally first argument, too, will be spoken. So what the gi-sentence 
uniguely allows is leaving out the middle arguments of sutera-order predicates in incomplete 

(4) La Seint Pol, gi da pa godzi (From) Saint Paul, X went (to 


(5) Lopo clivi, gi la Djan, pa takna (About) Life, John talked (to 


Imperative forms may also be spoken in this gi-inverted way: 

(6) Lopo clivi gi, takna (About) Life, talk. 


In Loglan-normal word-order, it is only the last elements in the argument-string that one is able 
to omit: 

(7) Da pa godzi la Mini,a'polis X went to Minneapolis (from 

/dapaG D zilaminiA polis/ 

(8) Takna la Meris Talk to Mary (about something). 


So gi increases the incompletion options of the speaker. 

G oi is grammatically similar to gi in that it marks off a set of one or more argument- like entities 
that are always spoken first in the sentence. But the goi- entities are not really arguments at all but 
special argument- like constructions which logicians call sentence quantifiers: 

(9) Raba goi, ba samto ba For every something x, x is the 

same as x. 

The expression Raba goi is such a guantifier. We will study the uses of such constructions in 
Section 5.24 . 

Now let us consider the two predicate- first abnormal word-orders that are made with ga. These, 
recall are VSO and VOS. G a has two roles in such sentences: (a) The first instance of ga-or any 
other tense operator, for that matter- indicates that the predicate it just precedes, although initial 
in the sentence, is in the declarative mood. This advises the listener or reader that a deferred 
subject will be coming up. (b) The second instance of ga-and this one must really be ga, and not 
some other tense- operator, obviously- will identify that deferred subject when it does come up. 
So the two punctuation schemata for VSO and VOS sentences in Loglan are gaVgaSO and 
gaVOgaS. In each case ga marks both an initially-used predicate and a deferred subject. 

Of the two predicate- initial word-orders, the VOS word-order is by far the most common in 
English.. .and therefore in Loglan translations from English as well. Here's an example of one: 

( 10) G a groda loe damlandi gotca, ga loe Larger than the typical lowland 
monca gotca goat is the typical mountain goat. 

/gaG ROdaloedamL A NdiG OTca.galoeM NcaG OTca/ 

G a groda (Larger than...') is the predicate. The fact that it comes first and is marked-in this case 
with ga, but any tense operator would do-tells the listener that it's not an imperative da's 
listening to, and that a subject will be coming later. Da also knows that that subject will be 
marked with ga. In this case an "object" (loe damlandi gotca) intervenes. But the listener is 
patient. Da waits for the second ga. 

The subject could have come right after the verb, of course; and that would have generated the 
VSO word-order: 

(11) G a groda ga loe monca gotca loe Larger is the typical mountain 
damlandi gotca goat than the typical lowland goat 


Notice that in both these sentences the deferred subject marker ga may be translated by the 
English copula 'is'. In fact, in both its predicate- and its argument- marking roles, ga often serves 
the clarifying function of the English copula. 

Here is a more intricate example of a VOS sentence: 

(12) Ga seidjo [SAY -j oh] lue no nu Among (included in the set of) 
trecymou [tresh-uh-MOH-oo] bekti ji the most interesting objects in the 
vi lo rardza [RAHRD-zah], ga lea universe (all existing things) are 
suphernovi [soop-hehr-NOH-vee] the supernovae. 

If, forgetfully, we neglect to speak the two ga's, we get an unintended and rather mysterious 

(13) Seidjo lue no nu trecymou bekti ji vi Be a member of the set of the 
lo rardza, lea suphernovi most interesting objects in the 

universe (and relate them 
somehow to) the supernovae. 

For without the two abnormal order markers we have a dangling argument, lea suphernovi, 
which the listener will not know how to fit into what is apparently an instruction, since the main 
predicate, seidjo ('set- member'), normally has only two places: ' a member/element of set...' 

This shows why both markers are reguired to speak a declarative sentence in Loglan in which the 
predicate comes first and the first argument is deferred... a more common occurrence in literary 
English than one might suppose. 

In sum, both gi and ga are used to shift arguments that are unmarked in the Loglan-normal word- 
order into new positions.. .presumably positions that will better correspond to the natural order of 
some sentence being translated. Any of the six possible word orders- the six permutations of S, 
V, and O-is speakable in Loglan.— So the ga/gi system of creating non-standard word orders to 
match the world's variety of sentence forms is, in a sense, the functional eguivalent of the 
optional case- tags described in Section 4.31 . With either system any word-order whatever may 
be achieved. 

5.23 Utterances and Their Modifiers: A Summary 

In all previous sections of this chapter we have been concerned with utterance forms which were 
sentence-size or smaller. In the following section we will consider certain larger-scale utterances 
in which simple utterances occur as parts. These will be "connected utterances" of various kinds. 
But before turning to this final topic of Loglan grammar, it will repay us to retrace briefly the 
route by which we have come. 

We have learned in this chapter that there are four forms of basic Loglan utterances: (i) answers 
(Da), (ii) imperatives (Godzi), (iii) predication sentences (Da godzi), and (iv) identity sentences 
(Da bi de). In addition, these basic forms may be embellished in numerous ways, and the 
embellishments themselves, when used alone, comprise a set of even simpler utterance forms. 
Thus there are (v) addresses (Djan) and addressed sentences (Djan, godzi = 'John, go!'); there 
are (vi) expressions of attitude (la), and attitudinally modified sentences (la da godzi), and, 

among these, many of the question-forms of Loglan are to be found (Ei da godzi = 'Does X 
go?'). Then there are (vii) the specific interrogatives Ie and Hu and kin and the many questions 
they create (Ie da = 'Which X?' Hu godzi = 'Who goes?' Da he = 'X is what?' Ho da = 'How 
many X?' Da ha de = 'X how connected to Y? 1 ); (viii) the discursive operators (Kii = 'Clearly') 
and the sentences they embellish (Kii da godzi); (ix) the utterance sequencers (Nefi) and the 
utterances they order (Nefi, godzi = 'First go'); (x) the parenthetic remarks (kie uu, kiu = 
'(Alas!)') and the sentences they embellish (Da, kie uu, kiu godzi = 'X (Alas!) goes'); (xi) the 
relative modifiers-which include the temporals Na, the spatials Vi, the modals Lia ; and the 
causals Kou-and the sentences they embellish (Da na godzi = 'X now goes' Vi, da godzi = 
'Here X goes' Da godzi lia = 'X goes similarly'); (xii) the relative interrogatives (Nahu) and the 
sentences they create (Nahu da godzi = 'When did X go?'); (xiii) the relative phrases (Na de = 
At Y ') and the sentences they embellish (Da godzi na de = 'X goes at Y '; and finally (xiv) the 
relative clauses (Na lepo de godzi = 'When Y goes') and the sentences they embellish (Da godzi 
na lepo de godzi = 'X goes when Y goes'). Finally, we have just seen how (xv) potential 
ambiguities may be resolved by punctuation (Na lepo de godzi gu, da godzi = 'When Y goes, X 
goes') and how (xvi) certain unusual word-orders may also be obtained (G a godzi de, ga da = 
'Goes to Y , does X ', Di gi, da godzi = 'From Z, X goes'). Standing apart from all these ways of 
forming, modifying, and punctuating utterances is (xvii) the mechanism by which utterances of 
any kind may be linked together in sustained discourse with the continuation connective I and its 
many kin (Ibuo) as in la. Ibuo da pa godzi = Yes. However, X went' 

In the rest of this chapter, we shall consider how sentences and imperatives may be linked 
together in two further ways: (a) logically and (b) causally, and finally how they may be (c) 
negated and (d) quantified with the logical quantifiers with which symbolic logic deals. With this 
last, and most formidable topic of Loglan grammar, we will complete our account of the 
grammatical structure of the language. 

5.24 Logically Connected Sentences with ica and Kin 

We saw in Chapters 3 and 4 how logical connections could be made between arguments and 
predicates in several ways. The simplest of these ways was with the unmarked series of 
connectives a , e, o and u and their elaborations (see Sections 3.14 and 4.22). We remarked then 
that connections made with these words were evidently "afterthoughts" in the sense that they do 
not have to be planned in advance, although, of course, they may be. The "forethought" method 
of making connections involved the use of the k- marked series of prefixed (or "Polish") 
connectives ka, ke, ko, ku and their elaborations, and these were used with the infixes ki or 
kinoi. Because they lead the pair of elements they connect, such connections do have to be 
planned in advance ( Section 4.23 ). Finally, there was also a third series of connectives, namely 
ca, ce, co, cu and their elaborations, and these were used only to form connections among 
predicate words in a string of such words ( Section 3.16 ). So we already have three series of 14 
connectives each, and we shall now add a fourth. It is clear that the apparatus for making logical 
connections is rather elaborate in Loglan. But this is the price we pay for the machinery we need 
to make a language logical. 

Before adding our final series of connectives, let us first note that the series of marked 
connectives, with their prefixes ka, ke, ko, ku, etc., and infixes ki and kinoi, may be used for 

connecting sentences in the forethought mode as well as arguments and predicates; for no 
uncertainties about what is connected to what can arise within this form. This is because 
whatever lies between any k-form leading mark and the inner k- marked infix with which (in 
well- formed speech) it can always be matched is the first connectand in a pair of grammatically 
similar connectands, and so the second connectand-the one that comes after the k-marked infix- 
must therefore, be of the same grammatical type as the first. If the first connectand is an 
argument the second must also be an argument; if a predicate, then a predicate; and if the first 
connectand is a sentence of any kind so also must be the second. Thus in 

(1) Ka da faltaa [fahl-TAH-ah] ki de ke EitherX is a liar (false-talker), or 
tsitoa ki dupma Y is both a thief and a deceiver. 

/kadaf alTA akideketsiTOakiD UPma/ 

what lies between ka and the first instance of ki is a sentence (da faltaa). So the second term of 
this connected- structure cannot be the argument de which is the immediate seguel of that ki but 
must also be a sentence of some kind. In this case that sentence is the entire remaining portion of 
the utterance, namely de ke tsitoa ki dupma = Y is both a thief and a deceiver.' This happens to 
be a sentence that contains a k-connected predicate. Had we thought-even for a moment-that 

(2) *Ka da faltaa ki de *EitherX isaliarorY. 

was the structure connected by ka and the first ki, we would have heard the elements da faltaa 
and de as discordantly dissimilar in grammatical type. This would have caused us-or rather, our 
parsers-to dismiss 

this possibility as ungrammatical. We would then have listened for the rest of the sentence of 
which de therefore promised to be the first argument; and, in a well-formed sentence, we would 
always hear one we did hear one in this case. Thus the right-hand boundaries of the second 
elements of such constructions, although unmarked, are as unambiguously determined as the 
marked left- boundaries are.— So the k-series of connectives may be used with any pair of 
elements so long as they are both of the same broad grammatical type. It is in this sense that the 
k-series are "context-free," while each of the other series of connective words of Loglan may 
occur only in a certain specific context or set of contexts. 

Suppose, for example, we tried to use one of the unmarked a, e, o, u- series of connectives 
already in hand to connect sentences in an afterthought way. We might produce an 
ungrammatical string of words like the following: 

(3) *Da corta de, e di, a do faltaa *X is shorter than Y and W or H 

is a liar. 

Why is this ungrammatical? Because without some additional punctuation- or other marking-it 
is impossible to tell where one sentence ends and the other begins, in both languages. Are we 
saying that X is shorter than Y and W; or H is a liar? Or are we saying that X is shorter than Y ; 
and either W or H is a liar? In English speech we settle such matters by using a certain 

distinctive pattern of stress, intonation and pause for each of the two interpretations. In written 
English we use punctuation to distinguish the sentence connective. But in Loglan, punctuation is 
spoken. Let us see, then, what we can do to mark one or the other of the two dubious connectives 
e or a phonemically so as to make one of them an afterthought sentence connective that will be 
plainly identifiable as such in either speech or writing. 

We already have the continuation operator I, the mark of a parsable utterance. So I might be 
used as well to mark afterthought sentence connectives. Sentences to be connected in this way 
are not guite finished; but they are in principle parsable, as they would have been finished had 
the speaker not thought of this connection. Moreover, I is always accompanied by a substantial 
pause; and, in a sense, continuation is itself an afterthought mode of connection: one pauses, one 
thinks of something else, then one continues. Usually the logical import of the I-connection is 
the conjunction of some new assertion with all the old ones one has already spoken. But we need 
to be able to make implications, alternations, eguivalences and independencies, too, in this same 
pause- before- continuing style of utterance connection. 

But if we were simply to speak I before one of the unmarked a, e, o, u- words, we would soon be 
unwittingly speaking one of the attitude indicators of Section 5.5 whenever we did so. Thus I + a 
would soon become ia; I + e would become ie; I + o would become io, and so on. So, to prevent 
the production of unintended diphthongs, we put a consonant between the two vowels. There are 
several consonants that would perform this function adeguately, but the one we use is c, a sound 
which is already associated with logical connection through its employment in the ca-series. So 
the last series of connectives we reguire, namely those which are used to connect sentences in the 
afterthought mode, is, in effect, formed by prefixing lower case i- to any member of the ca- 
series. Thus ica, ice, ico, icu, inoca, icanoi, [ee-shah, ee-sheh, ee-shoh, ee-shoo, ee- no-shah, ee- 
shah-noy] etc., are the marked connectives we reguire. M Using ice and ica to express the two 
interpretations which we noted for (3) above, we can now produce two distinct sentences, each 
with a clear meaning: 

(4) Da corta de, ice di, a do faltaa X is shorter than Y ; and Z or W is 

a liar. 

/daC RtaD E .iceD I .adof alT A a/ 

(5) Da corta de, e di, ica do faltaa X is shorter than Y and Z; or W is 

a liar. 
/daC Rtade.eD I .icadof alTA a/ 

Thus, by choosing to adorn exactly one of the two connectives in (3) with ic-, we can speak one 
or the other of its two possible meanings guite unambiguously. We will sometimes refer to this 
new, and final, series of connectives as "eesheks". 

What, then, is the difference in meaning between the sentence marked with ice ('and') and the 
same sentence marked with the utterance continuer I? Let's replace ice with I in (4) and see what 

(6) Da corta de. I di, a do faltaa X is shorter than Y . Z or W is a 

/daCORtaD E .idi.adofalTAa/ 

In both languages the sense of (6) is that these are two sentences separated by a full stop. The 
speech could have ended before the I but didn't. This contrasts with (4) in which, although there 
is a pause before ice ; it is probably a very brief one because the speaker is obviously rushing on 
to give more information. Like I, the logical sense of ice is to express conjunction: the assertion 
of both claims. But ice does not launch the parse as I and its kin ; the speech-continuing 
discursives like Ibuo, do. This is because an eeshek- connected string of utterances sometimes 
reguires that later utterances in the string be understood before the sense of earlier ones can be 
fully taken in. This is particularly true when the eeshek is one that involves negation: 

(7) Mi fa stolo, icanoi da kamla I will stay if X comes. 


Notice that in English we do not punctuate the 'if'-clause. This is probably because the two 
clauses are so nearly a single idea. Thus even though Mi fa stolo is potentially a finished 
utterance, it would be a mistake to parse it too guickly. In this sentence, as the upcoming icanoi 
guickly shows, Mi fa stolo is not being asserted by the speaker but being made contingent on a 
condition which may or may not be realized. 

In Loglan we must pause before the eeshek, as we do before all connections in this logical 
language; but we do not mark the eeshek- preceding pause with a period followed by a capital 
letter in text. Eesheks may, on occasion, initiate the first or even the only utterance in a speech. 
For example, Icanoi da kamla may be an answer to a guestion like Ei tu fa stolo = 'Will you be 
staying?' In such cases the initial i of the eeshek is always capitalized. 

We might wish to make some logical use of the distinction between the I-words composed of I 
and its true semantic kin, the I-initial discursives, and the eesheks, saying for example, that the 
appearance of an I-word in a speech terminates the scopes of all preceding "sentence guantifiers" 
while an eeshek does not. (Sentence guantifiers are the topic of the following section.) But this is 
a matter of logic, not grammar, and is in any case still under study. 

Afterthought sentence connections may, of course, be combined with forethought sentence 
connections in the same utterance. The afterthought may occur within the first term of a k- 
connected pain 

(8) Kanoi da fa kamla, ica de fa godzi, ki If (X comes.. .orY goes), then I 
mi fa stolo will stay. 


(I've used parentheses in the English to show the grouping, and triple dots to mark the point at 
which the afterthought occurs.) Or the afterthought may follow the kekked pair, in which case 
the original thought must be grammatically complete before the afterthought clause is spoken: 

(9) Ka da fa kamla ki de fa godzi, inoca (Either X comes orY goes). ..only 
mi fa stolo if I stay. 


Actually, sentences (8) and (9) make, in the end, the same claim... although they suggest that their 
speakers were in very different cognitive states as they were spoken. But as the parentheses 
show, both are left- associative; and the fact that the hesitations occur in different places does not 
alter their logical structure at all. In fact, the claim made with two hesitations, that is, with two 
afterthought connections, 

(10) Da fa kamla, ica de fa godzi, inoca mi (X will come...orY will 
fa stolo go)... only if I stay. 


also makes the claim of (8) and (9). 

So, like all afterthought connectives, the eesheks are left- associative. This means that it is the 
entire preceding portion of the utterance that is the antecedent term of the implication made with 
inoca in both sentences (9) and (10). These are thus eguivalent to the same claim made 
forethoughtfully with in (8). 

The right- associated connection among these same three elements makes, of course, a different 
claim. The new claim may be expressed in Loglan only by kekking the last two elements: 

(1 1) Da fa kamla, ica kanoi de fa godzi ki X will come... or, if Y goes, then I 
mi fa stolo will stay. 


Of course this same right- associated claim may also be made with two forethought connections 
as follows: 

(12) Ka da fa kamla ki, kanoi de fa godzi Either X will come or, if Y goes, 
ki mi fa stolo then I will stay. 


The first kek used in (12), namely, is of course redundant in the sense that a simpler 
eeshek could do the same connecting work.. .as it actually does in (11). Yet, because (12) is 
completely pauseless, it can probably be more rapidly spoken than (11). This may cause its 
redundance to be tolerated and the form itself to be preferred when no genuine afterthought is 

Finally, in anticipation of the matters to be dealt with in the next two sections, we must mention 
that kekked sentences, unlike eeshekked ones, carry the scope of any outside negative or 
"sentence guantifier" over the entire ki-connected structure. Thus, 

( 1 3) No, kanoi da fa kamla ki mi fa stolo It is not the case that if X comes 

then I will stay. 


is the contradiction of the whole connected sentence- pair made with kanoi.. .ki; whereas the 
negative in 

(14) No, da fa kamla, inoca mi fa stolo It is not the case that X will 

come.. .only if I'll stay. 


applies only to the first of the two connected sentences. This follows, of course, from our 
decision to regard any sentence that precedes an eeshek as at least grammatically complete. 
Sentences (13) and (14) make, therefore, very different claims. In (13), the speakerY is denying 
that Y 's staying is conditional on X 's coming. It turns out that this is eguivalent to asserting 
unconditionally both that X will come and that the speakerY will not stay.— How different this 
is from the claim of (14), in which the speaker de is saying that de's staying is conditional, but on 
X 's not coming! Matters of scope are, therefore, essential to the interpretation of such sentence- 
long operations as guantification and negation, which are the subjects of the two following 
sections. In part such guestions are settled in Loglan by the speaker's choosing between the 
forethought and the afterthought modes of making connections among his ideas. 

In summary, we have now defined four distinct series of logical connectives. They are: (i) the 
basic unmarked series a, e, o, u, anoi, etc., (called eks), which are used to connect arguments, 
predicates or sentence modifiers; (ii) the ca, ce, co, cu, canoi- series (called sheks), which are 
used to connect only the elements of predicate strings; (iii) the ka, ke, ko, ku, kanoi-series 
(called keks), which are used with the infixes ki or kinoi and may be used to connect arguments, 
predicates, modifiers, sentences, or the terms of metaphors- in short, to connect any sort of 
sentence element that may be connected-and finally (iv) the ica, ice, ico, icu, icanoi-series 
(called eesheks) which are used to connect only sentences or other utterances. The reader will 
probably be relieved to learn that these are all the connective words there are in Loglan. All told 
there are 56 of them.— It is clear that the gain in logical explicitness over the natural languages is 
purchased at the expense of a very considerable increase in the number of logical words in the 
lexicon. On the other hand, much of this increase is because of features of these connective 
words that are eguivalent to punctuation, and this, therefore, is compensated by economies 
realized in that department elsewhere in the language. Moreover, learning 56 connective words 
may be simpler than it sounds. Ten consistently used morphemic elements are sufficient to 
construct them all.— Using all these words correctly may, however, prove more difficult than we 
expect. Or the system may surprise us in the other direction and prove easier to master than the 
natural connectives are; for the latter seem to have grown like Topsy from rude beginnings. In 
any case, it will be interesting to see just how troublesome-or trouble- free-a consistent and 
unambiguous system of connectives is for the logically untrained mind. 

5.25 Quantified Sentences 

When we were considering quantified arguments in Section 4.22 we remarked that speaking a 
sentence like 

(1) Levi so mrenu pa kamla These six men came. 

/levisoM RE nupaK A M la/ 

is equivalent to speaking the same sentence without the quantifier, 

(2) Levi mrenu pa kamla This man came. 


six times. The number- word so is ; in effect, a sentence quantifier. In any sentence containing a 
number- word n used as a quantifier, n specifies the number of copies of that sentence with n 
removed from it to which the original sentence is equivalent. We will now extend this apparatus 
in a logically very powerful direction. We will show how all the "universal" and "existential" 
sentences made with the non-designating variables ba, be, bo and bu of Section 4.21 are, in fact, 
implicitly quantified sentences. Our task in this section will be to show how all such quantifiers 
may be explicitly expressed when desired. In rendering sentence quantifiers explicit, we shall be 
imitating a style of Western speech normally used only by logicians. But we shall also show that, 
in all but the most intricate cases, the far simpler everyday speech style of implicit quantification 

Consider the innocent-appearing claim 

(3) Babrano Something x is bread (There is 

some bread). 

Readers familiar with symbolic logic know that for manipulative purposes it is often useful to 
express this existential claim explicitly: 

(4) There is at least one x such that x is bread. 

In this more elaborate expression the phrase There is at least one x such that...' is called the 
existential quantifier; and it is expressed symbolically, in the notation favored by most logicians, 
by putting upside-down 'E' before the variable to be quantified and placing the whole in 
parentheses: '( ax) 1 . We need not use this notation in this book-except to make technical 
comments in the notes- for the Loglan verbal expression conveying the same idea is almost as 
compact. To form a Loglan existential quantifier we simply produce a copy of the variable to be 
quantified, mark it off with the special punctuator goi [goy], and speak or write it at the head of 
the sentence: 

(5) Ba goi, ba brano There is at least one x such that x 

is bread. 

In this sentence, the Loglan phrase Ba goi is an explicit existential quantifier. It means exactly 
what 'There is at least one x such that...' means when a logician is talking English. 

But what is the meaning of such a claim? And in what sense is such a sentence "quantified"? 
From our discussion of non- designating variables in Section 4.21 , the reader may recall that any 
sentence involving a claim about the existence of some undesignated someone or something is 
equivalent to an infinite number of demonstrative sentences such that if any one or more of them 
is true the sentence with the existential claim is also true. Thus sentence (5) is equivalent to 

(6) Ti brano This is bread. 


spoken an infinite number of times in the presence of an infinite number of objects. And just in 
case at least one of that infinite set of sentences is true of at least one of those objects, sentence 
(5) is also true. For all (5) says is that there is at least one object x somewhere such that 'x is 
bread' is true of that x. So sentence (5), and therefore (3), is quantified.. .and in a rather 
magnificent way. For we are apparently leaving the modest economies of numerical 
quantification, whereby sentence (1), for example, is worth six of sentence (2), and entering a 
new linguistic domain in which innocent- looking sentences like Ba brano turn out to be 
equivalent to infinite sets of sentences, and which make claims, therefore, which may not be 
practically encompassed in any other way. Note that both Ba brano and Ba goi, ba brano make 
the same vast existential claim; and that, in the first, the existential quantifier, while not present, 
is implicitly invoked. 

Suppose there are several non- designating variables in a sentence. Rendering the sentence 
quantifiers explicit in that case means speaking or writing copies of all those variables at the 
head of the sentence and marking the last of them with goi: 

(7) Ba pa bloda be Someone x hit someone y. 


(8) Ba be goi, ba pa bloda be There is an x (and) a y such that x 


Or with three non- designating variables: 

(9) Ba pa vedma be la Djek, bo Someone x sold something y to 

Jack for some price z. 

/bapaVED mabelaDJEK .bo/ 

(10) B a be bo goi, ba pa vedma be la Djek, There is an x, y (and) z such that 
bo x sold y to Jack for z. 


Notice that the variables in the string of sentence quantifiers have been written in the same order 
as the order of their appearance as arguments of the original sentence. This is mandatory. We 
shall examine some of the consequences of this rule in a moment. 

What about sentences which make universal claims? We learned in Section 4.21 that these are 
formed by quantifying a non- designating variable with ra ('all'). For example, the universally 
quantified argument Raba appears in: 

(11) Raba cluva la Espanias, anoi la Sol Every someone x loves Spain if 

the Sun. (All who love the Sun, 
love Spain.) 

Here, too, a sentence quantifier is implicitly invoked, this time the universal quantifier Raba goi, 
which, like the existential Ba goi, we may also write or speak explicitly at the head of the 
sentence. When we do so we strip the original argument of its quantifier ra, for it is now 

(12) Raba goi, ba cluva la Espanias, anoi For every x, x loves Spain if (x 
la Sol loves) the Sun. 


The phrase 'For every x' is the usual reading of the universal quantifier in logician's English; but 
it is usually written in text as the expression '(x)'. The Loglan verbal expression Raba goi is not 
quite so compact. But note that logicians use the unmarked form '(x)' for the universal and the 
longer marked form '( ax) 1 for the existential while in Loglan we evidently prefer to let the 
existential be the unmarked form: ba as opposed to raba. This is because, in speech, existential 
quantification occurs far more frequently than universal quantification. The former appears 
implicitly in English, for example, in nearly every use of the indefinite article 'a' outside of 
predicates. But in the claims that traditionally interest logicians, universals may be the more 
common form. 

Let us now mix these two types of quantifiers in the same sentences. We will do so first 
implicitly and in two different orders: 

(13) Raba nu cluva be Every someone x is loved by 

someone y. (Everyone has a 


(14) Be cluva raba Someone y loves every someone 

x. (Everyone has the same lover.) 

And then explicitly in the same two orders: 

(15) Raba be goi, ba nu cluva be For every x there is a y such that 

x is loved by y. 
/RA babegoi.banuC L Uvabe/ 

( 1 6) B e raba goi, be cluva ba There is a y such that for every x, 

y loves x. 

(Notice that the /ra/ of raba is often stressed when it is part of an explicit guantifier followed by 
goi ; but that raba elsewhere usually has level stress.) 

These last two explicit forms make abundantly clear that the order in which the two guantifiers 
raba and be appear makes a very considerable difference, whatever one may think about the 
implicit formulations. But since (13) is strictly eguivalentto (15), and (14) to (16)-the second in 
each pair being the rendering explicit or the " exploitation" of the first-it is clear that ( 1 3) and 
(14) are not permissible transforms of one another. We must apparently impose a restriction on 
the operation of conversion which we used so freely in Section 4.8 . That restriction is this. 
Predicates may only be converted, and their arguments accordingly re- ordered, when the set of 
arguments either (a) includes no non-designative arguments, or (b) such non- designative 
arguments as do occur in it are all (i) of the same guantificational type (universal or existential) 
and also (ii) of the same sign (negative or positive). Conversion under any other circumstances 
than these will alter the original claim. 

With this caveat in mind we now see that the basic sentence to which the explicit guantifiers are 
attached in (15) above, namely ba nu cluva be, may be legitimately re-converted since its two 
non-designative arguments are both of the same type and sign. Whence we may eliminate nu 
from sentence (15) and rewrite it as: 

( 1 7) Raba be goi, be cluva ba For every x there is a y such that 

y loves x. 

And now the only difference between (16) and (17) is the order of the two sentence guantifiers. 
Thus the difference in sense between the two implicitly guantified original sentences, (13) and 
(14), apparently depends on our being able, in Loglan, to use a converse predicate (nu cluva) in 
order to speak the arguments raba and be in an order that will convey the order of the two 
sentence guantifiers which we implicitly intend. This is the reason why one of the rules for 
making guantifiers explicit is to write or speak copies of the non-designative arguments at the 
head of the sentence in the same order as they appeared in the implicitly guantified sentence.— 

The same very economical device operates in English. When we say 'Everyone wants something' 
we do not mean what the "same" sentence means in the passive voice, namely 'Something is 
wanted by everyone'; though there is a curious figure-ground phenomenon here that allows one 
to persuade oneself, fleetingly, of the eguivalence of the two sentences. Not so in Loglan. 
Because of the existence of orderly rules by which any implicit guantification may be made 

explicit and any explicit claim once suitably expressed be stated with its quantifiers 
suppressed,— we expect that the difference in meaning between: 

(18) Raba danza be Everyone x wants something y . 



( 1 9) B a nu danza rabe Something x is wanted by 

everyone y. 

will always and everywhere be plain. 

If every explicitly quantified sentence may indeed be formulated in such a way that its 
quantifiers may be suppressed, why use explicitly quantified sentence forms at all? There are two 
reasons. The first is that there are certain very useful logical transformations which may most 
easily be performed on quantifier strings, some of which we will apply to strings containing 
negatives in the next section. It is our hypothesis that, in Loglan thoughtful speakers will be able 
to perform at least some of these operations on the speech-flow itself, without resorting to the 
pencil- and- paper techniques of logicians, simply because, in Loglan, the quantifier string is a 
regular flow of short, unitary words. The second reason is that there are certain connected 
sentence forms in which the quantifiers have scopes which cannot be expressed implicitly. While 
such sentences may always be transformed into other sentences whose quantifiers may be 
implicitly expressed, if we want to use such quantifiers in speech, then we must mention them 
explicitly. As an example of the latter phenomenon, let us be more extravagant about loving 

(20) Raba cluva be, noa la Espanias Anyone x loves something y only 

if (x loves) Spain. 


The more usual way of expressing this idea in English is to say, 'If anyone loves anything, then 
he loves Spain.' But that last sentence invites quite a different Loglan translation: 

(21) Raba cluva rabe, noa la Espanias Anyone x loves everything y only 

if (x loves) Spain. 


which obviously does not say the same thing. We will see in a moment how sentence (20) may 
be transformed into one with two universal quantifiers, but this, obviously, is not the way to do 
it. To see what is going on here let us first make the quantifiers of these two sentences explicit. 
To do so we adopt the convention that the scope of any implicit quantifier will be taken to run 
over all and only those clauses of any connected sentence in which its variable appears. Raba in 
both sentences has, by this convention, sentence- long scope; but be, in (20), and rabe, in (21), 

are both confined to the first of the two implicitly connected clauses that could be made explicit 
by expanding these last two utterances into connected sentences. For example, (20) could be 
expanded into Raba cluva be, inoca raba cluva la Espanias. It is clear, once (20) is expanded, 
that the scope of the implicit existential quantifier be is, by this convention, confined to the 
clause Raba cluva be, while the scope of Raba extends over both clauses. We may convey this 
difference in scope even in the compact form of the sentence (in which only the second 
arguments are connected) by using two goi's in the explicit quantifier string: 

(22) Raba goi, be goi, ba cluva be, noa la *For every x such that there is a y 
Espanias such that x loves y only if (x 

loves) Spain. 
For every x, if there is a y such that x loves y, then (x loves) Spain. 

(23) Raba goi, rabe goi, ba cluva be, noa *For every x such that for every y 
la Espanias such that x loves y, only if (x 

loves) Spain. 
For every x, if, for every y, x loves y, then (x loves) Spain. 

(I cannot produce a grammatical English sentence using the English afterthought form 'only if as 
translations of (22) and (23); so I've starred them, and included parenthetically other English 
sentences which are grammatical, and which make the same claims as the Loglan ones, but in 
which the English connective is the forethought form 'if.. .then'.) To make sense out of these 
over-compact Loglan remarks, let us expand the connected arguments of these sentences into 
clauses. To do so we will use the marked connective kanoi... ki...-which is equivalent to 
...noa...-in order to carry the scope of Raba over both clauses: 

(24) Raba kanoi be goi, ba cluva be ki ba For every x, if there is a y such 
cluva la Espanias that x loves y, then x loves Spain. 


(25) Raba kanoi rabe goi, ba cluva be ki For every x, if, for every y, x 
ba cluva la Espanias loves y, then x loves Spain. 


These formulations make very clear that the scopes of the two inside quantifiers, be goi and rabe 
goi, are confined to the clauses they immediately precede, as our convention for interpreting 
implicit quantifiers requires. But now let us say with explicit quantifiers what cannot be said with 
implicit ones in Loglan. Let us move the inner quantifiers of sentences (24) and (25) ahead of the 
kekking prefix kanoi so that the quantifiers be and rabe will then have sentence- long scope 
explicitly despite the fact that their variables do not appear in the second clauses: 

(26) Raba be kanoi ba cluva be ki ba cluva For every x there is a y such that, 
la Espanias if x loves y, then x loves Spain. 

/RA babekanoibaC L UvabekibaC LU vala.esPA Nias/ 

(27) Raba rabe kanoi ba cluva be ki ba For every x and for every y, if x 
cluva la Espanias loves y, then x loves Spain. 


Now sentence (27) claims that for endless pairs of x's and y's, if the first x, loves the second, y, 
then the lover x will also be found to love Spain. But this is exactly what we claimed with the 
short-scope existential in (24), namely that if anyone loved something, then ba loved Spain! 
Sentences (24) and (27) do indeed make the same claim; and it is (27), with its two long-scope 
universals-one of which cannot be implicitly expressed-which best conveys the most usual 
English formulation of this idea, namely 'If anyone loves anything, then da loves Spain.' 

But what does (26) mean? It happens that, just as (27) is eguivalent to (24), so (26) is eguivalent 
to (25). Sentence (25), recall, makes the trivial claim that anyone who loves everything (of 
course!) loves Spain. It is a bit difficult to see that sentence (26) also expresses this same banal 
truth. But the eguivalence of the two forms can, perhaps, be suggested by considering that, in a 
universe in which all but one individual do not love everything, there will, for all those other 
individuals, be at least one something y they do not love; whence the implication of (26) will be 
true for them by the denial of the antecedent. And in the case of the one individual x who does 
love everything, the implication of (26) will be true by affirmation of the conseguent; for 
"everything" includes Spain. In this same universe, sentence (25) will, perhaps more obviously, 
also be true. For the antecedent will be false, and the implication therefore hold, for all those 
individuals who do not love everything; and the conseguent will be true in the case of that one 
individual who does love everything. It may be time to make clear that the truth of an implication 
in 'if.. .then' (kanoi.. .ki) order is guaranteed either by the falsity of its first term (its "antecedent") 
or by the truth of its second (its "conseguent"). So to know that an implication is true one does 
not even have to look at its conseguent if its antecedent is false, or at its antecedent if its 
conseguent is true. 

However this may be, the reader may take it for granted that (26) is eguivalent to (25), and (27) 
to (24). In both cases an inside short-scope guantifier has been moved outside the connecting 
prefix kanoi, a move which gives it sentence-long scope, while at the same time, its 
guantificational type has been changed. It is this move, among others, which allows us to 
transform any expression which cannot be directly expressed implicitly- such as sentence (26) or 
(27), above- into one that can be. Thus sentence (20), above, with its short-scope existential, is 
the implicit expression of the same claim made explicitly in (27) with its two long-scope 
universals; while sentence (21), with its short-scope universal, is the implicit expression of the 
claim of (26) with its long-scope existential. This convertibility of guantifiers of one type into 
guantifiers of opposite type, with suitable modifications of scope or sign, is a recurrent principle 
in logic. And it is the existence of transformations that allow us to change sentences like (27), 
with their guantifiers reigning over clauses in which their variables do not appear, into sentences 
like (20), in which all guantifiers are confined to the clauses in which they do appear, that makes 
implicit guantification possible.- 

Sentence guantifiers are not restricted to those formed with non- designating variables and the 
guantifier ra. For example, we may use a numerical guantifier in an explicit sentence guantifier, 
as in: 

(28) Neba goi, ba gandi There is exactly one x such that x 

is a god. (There is just one god.) 

Or we can express the same idea implicitly, as in: 

(29) Neba gandi Exactly one something x is a god. 


Or we may use a designating variable as the basis of the guantification, as in: 

(30) Ra da goi, da terjaofoa, a kurfa For every X (in the set of X 's) X 

is either a triangle or a sguare. 

Or even a description, as in: 

(31) Re leu mrenu goi, mei merji, anoi For most of the (set of) men, m is 
farfu married if a father. 


In this last sentence, mei ('m') is taken to stand for any member of the set described by leu 
mrenu, which may be assumed to be plural because it is guantified by re. Sentence (31) is, in 
short, an abbreviation of the following sentence: 

(32) Re leu mrenu goi, le mrenu jie mei ga For most of the (set of) men, each 
merji, anoi farfu man that is one of them is married 

if a father. 

/releuM REnugoi.leM REnuj iemeigaM ERj i.anoiFA Rfu/ 

Thus a sentence guantifier may be any indefinitely guantified argument form which reappears, or 
of which a valid replacement appears, in the sentence to be guantified. But it turns out that 
guantifiers based on designative arguments may not be implicitly expressed. Notice, for 
example, what happens to the sense of the sentence (32) when we remove the sentence guantifier 
and content ourselves with a guantified argument of the same form.. .hoping to express the same 
idea implicitly: 

(33) Re le mrenu ga merji, anoi farfu Most of the men are married if 

(they are) fathers. 
/releM RE nugaM E Rj i.anoiFA Rfu/ 

But this sentence now makes a slightly different claim. To see what the new claim is let us 
expand the connected Loglan argument into a similarly connected pair of Loglan sentences, and 
then translate the result back into English (because the Loglan is so transparent, this is often a 

useful technique when we want to see what a connected pair of English sentences is really 

(34) Re le mrenu ga merji ; icanoi re le Most of the men are married if 
mrenu ga farfu most of the men are fathers. 


By replacing the second instance of le mrenu with either da or met this may of course be 
shortened to: 

(35) Re le mrenu ga merji, icanoi re da Most of the men are married if 
farfu most of them are fathers. 


Sentences (34) and (35) have clear interpretations in both languages. We now see that (33)-(35) 
can be false under circumstances under which (31) and (32) are plainly true. An example of such 
circumstances would be when the designated group of men is composed of a married father, an 
unmarried father, and a childless bachelor. In that case (33)-(35) are false (most are fathers, but 
most are unmarried), while the implication 'If X is a father then X is married' is true of the 
childless bachelor (by denial of the antecedent) and of the married father (by affirmation of the 
consequent) although it is false for the unmarried father. Whence sentences (31) and (32), which 
claim that the implication holds for more than half of them, are both true. 

Again, it is a matter of scope. The scope of the explicit quantifier in sentences (31) and (32) runs 
over the entire sentence it precedes even when expanded into a pair of clauses. But the scope of 
each of the quantified arguments of sentences (34) and (35) is, of course, confined to the 
constituent sentence in which it appears. This will always be true of sentences with designative 
arguments; whence we are denied the economies of implicit quantification in their case. 

The same argument could, of course, be applied to sentences with non-designative arguments. 
We could, for example, have chosen to say that 

(36) Raba merji, anoi farfu Every something x is married if a 


may be properly expanded into the surprising claim that 

(37) Raba merji, icanoi raba farfu Every something x is married if 

every some thing x is a father. 

/rabaM E Rj i.icanoirabaFA Rf u/ 

But sentences of this form would, if our logical usages allowed them, nearly always be trivially 
true. Since for any property P it will nearly always be false that everything is a P, the conditional 
that if every something x is a P (but not all somethings are) then something else is the case (but 

doesn't have to be) will nearly always be true. Therefore we deny the propriety of the 
transformation of (36) into (37) on the ground that the common argument of the connected 
predicates of (36) is of the non- designating variety. Instead we say that the proper expansion of 
(36) is as follows: 

(38) Raba merji ; icanoi ba farfu Every something x is married if 

(that same) something x is a 

/rabaM E Rj i .icanoibaFA Rfu/ 

In this way we preserve the scope convention of implicit guantification mentioned earlier: 
namely that the scope of any implicit sentence guantifier is held to carry over just such clauses of 
a connected sentence in which its variable appears. 

Of course we must in a logical language, also be able to speak such nonsense as appears to be 
the claim of sentence (37) clearly when we want to. But we cannot do so in Loglan by using a 
common argument of a connected predicate. Instead, we must speak a connected sentence 
directly, using two different non- designating variables for the two short-scope universals: 

(39) Raba merji, icanoi rabe farfu Every something x is married if 

every some thing y is a father. 

/rabaM E Rj i.icanoirabeFA Rfu/ 

And we now have two implicit universal guantifiers- either or both of which may be made 
explicit-the scope of each of which is confined to its own constituent clause. This arrangement 
now states clearly the nonsensical claim made unclearly in sentence (37). The reader will have 
sensed that the entire apparatus of implicit guantification depends on certain restrictions on, and 
conventional interpretations of, the usages of Loglan, one of which is that sentence guantifiers 
formed with designative arguments may not be expressed implicitly. 

There is a final convention concerning the handling of sentence guantifiers which we have been 
observing all along and which we may now state openly. And that is that any incomplete 
sentence should first be completed before any of its guantifiers are made explicit. The reason for 
this rule is that all incomplete sentences have unexpressed implicit guantifiers, and these will not 
be among those made explicit if the sentence used as the basis of the explicitation is itself 
incomplete. Thus a sentence in which some but not all of its implicit guantifiers have been made 
explicit has a false air of exactness. Suppose, improperly- we will see why this is improper in a 
moment- we were to render the guantifiers of (38) explicit below: 

(40) Raba goi, ba merji, icanoi ba farfu For every x, x is married if x is a 


/RA bagoi.baM ERj i.icanoibaFA Rfu/ 

But as both merji and farfu are multi-place predicates, and as they are both treated here as one- 
place predicates, we are tempted to think that we have said something exact about marriage and 
fatherhood (in given societies) when in fact we haven't. 

Let us go back to sentence (38) ; of which (40) is a logically improper (but not ungrammatical) 
transformation, and complete the argument sets of both its predicates. We recall that we are to 
supply existentials for the unexpressed arguments of positive predicates and universals for the 
unexpressed arguments of negative predicates. Both the predicates in (38) are positive; hence 
(38) may be completed as follows: 

(41) Raba merji be icanoi ba farfu bo bu Every someone x is married to 

someone y if (that same) someone 
x is the father of someone z 
through some mother w. 

/rabaM E Rj ibeicanoibaFA Rfubobu/ 

Sentence (41), with its complete set of implicit guantifiers, may now properly be made explicit 
as follows: 

(42) Raba goi, be goi, ba merji be, icanoi, For every x there is a y such that 
bo bu goi, ba farfu bo bu x is married to y if there are a z 

and w such that x is the father of 
z through mother w. 


But having done this we may now ask whether the particular completion we supplied in sentence 
(41), and rendered explicit in (42), says what we wanted to say. Suppose what we are trying to 
express with some exactitude is a moral law of some society. (To express any claim as a moral 
law in which we ourselves believe we need only precede a sentence which asserts that claim with 
the indicator of strong obligation Oa.) To do so we must ask, Is it sufficient, in that society, that 
a man be married to someone y in order to have children by perhaps some other someone w? 
Very likely it is not. But that is what (42) allows with its two short-scope existentials be and bu. 
So completing a sentence and making its guantifiers explicit are linguistic acts which often force 
us to raise the guestion of what we actually mean by our incomplete or implicitly guantified 

If, for example, we mean to say that if a man has a child by anyone y then we shall also find that 
he is married to that same y, then we have failed to say this with sentence (42). ..nor, since one is 
a regular transform of the other, have we succeeded with sentence (38). Instead we reguire that 
the marital and maternal roles of the mother be linked by a long-scope universal guantifier in 
exactly the same way that the roles of the husband and father are universally linked in sentence 
(42); but unfortunately this cannot be said incompletely. It can, however, be said with implicit 
guantifiers, as below: 

(43) Raba merji rabe, icanoi ba farfu bo be Every someone x is married to 

every someone y if that someone 
x is the father of someone z 
through that someone y. 
/rabaM E Rj iraB E .icanoibaFA Rf uboB E/ 

And the quantifiers of this new sentence may now be stated explicitly as follows: 

(44) Raba rabe goi ; ba merji be ; icanoi bo For every x and every y, x is 
goi, ba farfu bo be married to y if there is a z such 

that x is the father of z through y. 


If we were in doubt about the adequacy of (43) as an accurate expression of our intent, (44) will 
dispel it. Sentence (44) says what we mean, and so, apparently, does (43). What it says, suitably 
moralized, is still a fairly broad rule since it permits polygamy; but it does rule out children 
whose fathers are not married to their mothers. This is, perhaps, the intent, at least, of that 
version of the human marriage law that is most common on this planet. 

So we see that completing a sentence not only has the formal advantage of guaranteeing that any 
subsequent transformation of its quantifiers will also be complete, but the informal one of 
forcing us to deal with the exact nature of its claim. Thus (38) says exactly, if incompletely, what 
(41) and (42) say completely. So the speaker of (38) who thought da was saying something that 
was an abbreviated equivalent of (43) learns that da was not. Once this awareness is in hand, da 
may then go on, by adjusting da's quantifiers, to say exactly what da did mean. 

We have in this section dealt with what is perhaps the most difficult set of linguistic usages 
engendered by our project to "make symbolic logic speakable" . Y et we have barely scratched the 
surface. We will leave it to the logically- minded reader to carry the apparatus of implicit and 
explicit quantification further. Y et other readers will have glimpsed, perhaps, that in these 
elegant Loglan forms- -all of which are far shorter and apparently far plainer than their 
horrendously intricate English equivalents- -we may be on the road, at least, to making some kind 
of logic speakable. We do not yet know that even this little has been accomplished, of course. 
For it may be that we have simply compacted the intricacy of these quantificational ideas into 
denser forms which are even less understandable than their more attenuated English originals. 
Only experimental tests with authentic speakers of Loglan will settle this interesting question of 
whether we have, in fact, made logic speakable... or made it even more unspeakable than it was. 

5.26 Negative Sentences 

We saw in Section 4.24 on negative arguments that the negative operator no could be exported 
from any internal designative argument to a position at the head of the sentence where it is 
marked by a pause-comma. In this position and so-marked, no has the sense of the sentence- 
negating English phrase 'It is not the case that...' We also saw that, before non-designating 
arguments formed with ba, be or bo, such internal negatives could not be exported. We said that 
all such negatives are, in a sense, "stuck to" their arguments. Finally, we also noted that no 

before predicate expressions could be exported to the head of the sentence if and only if the 
sentence as a whole was (a) complete and (b) contained no non-designating variables or 
indefinite descriptions. We must now make sense out of all these complicated arrangements. 

We hinted that the negative in sentence- negating position is stylistically preferred in Loglan. And 
so it is. But we can now state the matter more strongly. If a sentence contains non-designating 
variables or indefinite descriptions, and is ; therefore, implicitly guantified, any negatives that 
come before any of its designating arguments must be exported before that sentence may be 
explicitly guantified. Let us see why. 

Suppose we have said, in that guaintly archaic style using negative arguments that is permissible 
in Loglan, 

(1) La Djan, pa godzi no la Romas John went not to Rome. 

/laD J A N .paG D zinolaRO mas/ 

Since godzi is a three-place predicate here used positively, we may complete it with an 

(2) La Djan, pa godzi no la Romas, ba John went not to Rome from 

somewhere x. 

This reveals that the sentence is implicitly guantified, something that wasn't plain before. But to 
make the guantification explicit, we must first detach the internal negative from the negative 
argument no la Romas and write it at the head of the sentence marked with a pause-comma: 

(3) No, la Djan, pa godzi la Romas, ba It is not the case that John went to 

Rome from somewhere x. 

This is phonemically distinct from the two-utterance speech, 

(4) No. I la Djan, pa godzi la Romas, ba No. And John went to Rome from 

somewhere x. 

in which No. is presumably an answer to some preceding guestion. Speeches (3) and (4) are 
virtual contradictories in import. So it is good to be attentive to one's I's in Loglan. 

Returning to (3), we may now make the guantifier explicit by placing a copy of the non- 
designating variable between the sentence negative and the sentence it negates and following it 
with the marker goi: 

(5) No ba goi, la Djan, pa godzi la It is not the case that there is an x 

Romas, ba such that John went to Rome from 



Notice that the pause-comma marking No in (3) may be dropped when, as in (5), No precedes an 
explicit quantifier. In a sense No becomes part of the quantifier string and shares its final 

The rule, then, for making the implicit quantifiers of negative sentences explicit is to insert the 
explicit form between the negative and the sentence it negates; and this incorporates the negative 
operator into the quantifier string. 

Now suppose we had attempted to make the quantifier in (2) explicit before exporting the 

(6) Bagoi, laDjan, pagodzinola There is an x such that John went 
Romas, ba not to Rome from x. 


But there is always such an x! Even if John is drawn so magnetically back to Rome that he goes 
there from Paris, London, Tokyo and DesMoines, Iowa, there will still be an x somewhere- in 
Antarctica, say-from which John doesn't go to Rome. Sentence (6) is, in fact, equivalent to 

(7) Ba goi, la Djan, no pa godzi la There is an x such that John didn't 
Romas, ba go to Rome from x. 


With predicates like godzi such sentences as (6) and (7) will always be true.— 

So, to avoid counter- intuitive transformation products like (6) we adopt the rule that the 
exportation of internal sentence negatives, like the completion of incomplete sentences discussed 
in Section 5.17 , must be accomplished before rendering any implicit quantifier explicit. As 
always, one must be able to state trivial truths like that of sentence (6) clearly, of course, but in 
Loglan they must be stated with negative predicates, as in (7), the implicit version of which is: 

(8) LaDjan, no pa godzi la Romas, ba John didn't go to Rome from 

somewhere x. 

Or, perhaps more clearly, with a universal quantifier and a negative argument as in: 

(9) LaDjan, pa godzi no la Romas, raba John went not to Rome from 

everywhere x. 
/laDJ A N .paG D zinolaRO mas.RA ba/ 

From the latter, after exporting the negative, we get: 

(10) No ; la Djan ; pa godzi la Romas, raba It is not the case that John went to 

Rome from everywhere x. 

And this, once the guantifier has been made explicit becomes: 

(1 1) No raba goi ; la Djan, pa godzi la It is not the case that for every x, 
Romas, ba John went to Rome from x. 


It happens that sentence (11) is transformationally eguivalentto (7) by a logical rule called 
"reversal", which is useful for handling negative guantifiers and which we will discuss more 
fully toward the end of this section. 

So the first rule for handling negative sentences is to recognize that a sentence with an odd 
number of negative designative arguments is a negative sentence, and should be so expressed 
before rendering any implicit guantifiers explicit. The second rule is that the explicit guantifiers 
of negative sentences must be inserted between the negative and its sentence. 

But now let us consider the handling of negatives which are bound to no n- designative 
arguments. Take the sentence 

(12) B a corta no be Something x is shorter than no 

something y. (There is a longest 

Such negatives may not be exported. Clearly sentence (12) is not eguivalent to: 

( 1 3) No, ba corta be It is not the case that something x 

is shorter than something y. 
(Everything is the same length.) 


which we would have obtained by incorrectly exporting the negative of (12). But to make the 
implicit guantifiers of sentences like (12) properly explicit, we move a copy of the entire 
argument, negative included, into the guantifier string leaving only a copy of the variable itself in 
the body of the sentence which is thus guantified: 

(14) Ba no be goi, ba corta be There is an x (such that) there is 

no y such that x is shorter than y. 


Similarly, the implicit negative quantifier of (13) may be rendered explicit by: 

(15) No ba be goi, ba corta be There is no x (such that) there is a 

y such that x is shorter than y. 


Unsurprisingly, the order in which negatives appear in a string of quantifiers makes some 
difference in both languages. 

Let us consider a more intricate case: 

( 16) Mi farfu no raba no be I am the father of not everyone x 

through no someone y. 

What have we said? So many negatives make it puzzling. So we first make the quantifiers 
explicit making sure that we retain their order, and we get: 

(17) No raba no be goi ; mi farfu ba be Not for every x is there no y such 

that I am the father of x through 



from which, after a moment of stubborn reflection, we might now gather that I am the father of 
someone! For, by a very useful logical rule for eliminating negatives in the quantifier string, we 
may rewrite (17) as below: 

( 1 8) B a be goi, mi farfu ba be There is an x such that there is a y 

such that I am the father of x 
through y. 

/babegoi.miFA Rfubabe/ 

The rule that accomplishes the remarkable transformation of (17) into (18) states that any portion 
of an explicit quantifier string that reads raba no... may be replaced by, and any 
portion that reads ba no... may be replaced by ...raba..., for any non-designating variable 
ba. In short, any quantifier surrounded by negatives may be replaced by a quantifier of opposite 
type after eliminating those negatives. This is a very convenient rule, often known as quantifier 
negation equivalence. In this case it could have been applied to sentence (16) directly. This 
would have given us the implicit version of sentence (18) immediately: 

( 19) Mi farfu ba be I am the father of someone x 

through someone y. 
/miFA Rfubabe/ 

The English version of sentence (16) is almost impossible to understand no matter how carefully 
we try to phrase it... and so, probably, is the Loglan. It is not until the quantifiers in the English 
sentence have been rendered explicit as in (17), that we begin to glimpse its claim. But again it 
is our hypothesis that Loglan speakers will be able to make these and other transformations 
directly on the speech- flow without going through the intermediate step of explicit 
quantification. After all, the string of sutori (second and subsequent) arguments in sentence (16) 
is identical to the string of explicit quantifiers in sentence (17); and, in each of them, any element 
surrounded by negatives is immediately replaceable by an element of opposite type. We surmise 
that this will be as easy to hear in Loglan as the double negative ('He didn't not come') is easy to 
hear- -and eliminate- in English. 

On the other hand, the rule that permits us to eliminate any pair of no's which surround explicit 
quantifiers does not apply to implicitly quantified negative first arguments if any subsequent 
arguments are non- designating. Thus in 

(20) No raba no farfu be rabo Not everyone x is a non-father of 

someone y by everyone z. 
/noRA banoFA RfubeRA bo/ 

the expression No raba no may not be replaced by Ba. The reason is that in the corresponding 
string of explicit quantifiers, raba is not surrounded by no's: 

(21) No raba be rabo goi, ba no farfu be Not for everyone x is there a y 
bo such that, for every z, x is a non- 
father of y by z. 


The reader will perhaps agree that this gem is even more opaque than the one we considered 
previously; and this time rendering the quantifiers explicit seems only to deepen the opacity. 
Fortunately there is a quite general transformation that allows us to eliminate the negatives from 
negative sentences that happen to have negative predicates, as this one does; and this operation 
applies to both implicitly and explicitly quantified forms. 

That transformation is called reversal, and the reverse of a sentence with either explicit or 
implicit quantifiers is formed by changing (i) the signs of both the sentence and its predicate, and 
(ii) the type of each quantifier. Under reversal, all designative arguments and the signs of all 
internal quantifiers- in implicit forms, the signs of all arguments- remain unchanged. Applying 
the reversal rule to sentence (21) gives us: 

(22) Ba rabe bo goi, ba farfu be bo There is an x (such that), for 

every y, there is a z such that x is 
the father of y through z. 
/baRA bebogoi.baFA Rfubebo/ 

which is still not exactly crystalline. But applying the reversal rule to the implicitly quantified 
formulation of sentence (20) directly gives us: 

(23) Ba farfu rabe bo Someone x is the father of 

everyone y through someone z. 

and we see, at last that what is masked by the double negative in this case is the simple if 
preposterous claim that everyone has the same father. 

To really understand reversal it will be useful to apply it to a simpler case: 

(24) No, ba brano It is not the case that something x 

is bread. 

The reversal of sentence (24) requires (i) that the sign of the sentence be changed from negative 
to positive, (ii) that the sign of the predicate be changed from positive to negative, and (iii) that 
its single quantifier be changed from an existential into a universal. Performing these three 
operations in any order produces: 

(25) Raba no brano Everything x is non-bread. 


Simplifying even further, we see that the reversal of 

(26) Ti no brano This is non-bread. 


is simply the same sentence with the signs of the predicate and the sentence reversed: 

(27) No, ti brano It is not the case that this is bread. 


But this is nothing but the familiar case of exporting the negative from a negative predicate in a 
sentence with no non- designating variables. Thus, the exportation of a negative predicate is 
evidently a special case of sentence reversal, namely the reversal of a positive complete sentence 
with a negative predicate in which no non- designating variables happen to occur. If they do 
occur, as in sentence (25), they too may be accommodated in the reversal procedure simply by 
changing their quantificational type. 

We see at last what these objects we have been calling "predicate negatives" really are. They, 
too, are sentence negatives. But of course! What can be negated except a claim? And it takes a 
sentence, not a part of a sentence, to make a claim. But predicate negatives are that special kind 
of sentence negative that stand inside the quantifier string. Tucked away against the predicate as 

they are, their position guarantees that no quantification can occur inside them; such a negation 
will, therefore, always be the last operation to be performed after all the operations specified by 
the quantifier string have been performed. They permit us to use, in short, that elegant 
equivalence whereby we may say either 'It is not the case that all x are P' or 'It is the case that 
some x are not-P' without change or loss of meaning. And now, of course, we also see that if 
there is no quantifier string for the negative to stand inside of, as there will not be if the sentence 
has no non-designating variables, it makes no difference whatever if we speak our sentence 
negatives at the head of our sentences or in a way that makes them appear to be predicate 
modifiers. Stylistically, in a logical language, the sentence-head position is to be preferred. But 
there is no difference whatever between the claims of a negative sentence and that of the same 
sentence with a negative predicate provided that sentence is complete and no non- designating 
variables appear in it. 

These reflections also clarify what may have seemed arbitrary, or even puzzling at first, about 
our methods of filling the holes in incomplete sentences. Why, for example, must we complete 
sentences that have negative predicates with universals, and sentences with positive predicates 
with existentials...even though the latter sentences may themselves be negative? The reason is 
now plain. If the sentence to be completed has a negative predicate, then all its quantifiers, when 
explicit, will stand outside this final negative. If it has a positive predicate and is negative, then 
all its quantifiers, when explicit, will stand inside this initial negative. But we have learned that 
to say 'It is not the case that some x are...' is simply another way of saying 'It is the case that all x 
are not...' So this method of completing incomplete sentences simply guarantees the equivalence 
of the two ways of making the same negative claim: one, with an inside negative; the other, with 
its negative moved outside: 

(28) La Djan, no pa godzi la Romas John didn't go to Rome. 

/laD J A N .nopaG D zilaRO mas/ 

(29) No, la Djan, pa godzi la Romas It is not the case that John went to 


The first, with its inside negative, we complete with a universal: 

(30) La Djan, no pa godzi la Romas, raba John didn't go to Rome from 

every someplace x (i.e., from 

The second, with its outside negative, we complete with an existential. 

(31) No, la Djan, pa godzi la Romas, ba It is not the case that John went to 

Rome from someplace x. 

That the two sentences still make exactly the same claim may be seen by making the two 
quantifiers we have just supplied explicit: 

(32) Raba goi, la Djan, no pa godzi la For every x, John didn't go to 
Romas, ba Rome from x. 


(33) No ba goi, la Djan, pa godzi la There is no x such that John went 
Romas, ba to Rome from x. 


For now, quite obviously, sentences (32) and (33) are simply reversals of one another; as are 
indeed, though perhaps less obviously, sentences (30) and (31). 

5.27 Causally Connected Sentences with ikou 

A class of sentence connectives which is of special interest to Indo-European learners are those 
formed by preceding the causal words kou moi rau soa and their compounds (see Section 5.7 ) 
with the prefix i-. This move generates the afterthought causal connectives of Loglan, words like 
'because' and 'therefore' that figure so importantly in Indo-European thought. In Loglan these 
words are grammatically among the eesheks, but semantically they are more complex than the 
afterthought logical connectives that are their lexemic kin. Here are several sentences connected 
by ikou-type connectives: 

(1) Da pa rodj a, i kou tu pa cuidru It grew because you watered 
[SHWEE-dru] da (water-did) it. 

/dapaRODj a.iiCO utupaCUIdruda/ 

(2) Tu pa cuidru da, inukou da pa rodja Y ou watered it; therefore it grew. 

/tupaC UIdruda.iM/ko,udapaRODj a/ 

(3) Da pa rodja, inokou tu no pa cuidru da It grew although you didn't water 

/dapaRODj a.iNO ko,utuJVO paC Uldruda/ 

(4) Tu no pa cuidru da, inunokou da pa You didn't water it; nevertheless it 
rodja grew. 

/tuNO paCUIdruda.inuIVO ko,udapaRODja/ 

Evidently the Loglan words ikou, inukou, inokou and inunokou [ee-koh-oo ee-noo-koh-oo ee- 
noh-koh-oo (and) ee-noo-noh-koh-oo] mean (approximately) what the words 'because', 
'therefore', 'although' and 'nevertheless' mean in English. What kinds of claims do they express? 

From an examination of the Loglan forms we can guess several things immediately. The prefix i- 
strongly suggests that these are afterthought forms to be used without prefixed markers, and that 
strings made with them are therefore probably left- associative. Both are true. Stripped of i- the 
remaining (prepositional) forms kou, nukou, nokou and nunokou seem related to one another 
in two ways. For one thing, nukou is apparently the converse of kou; and this seems reasonable 

from the meanings of the English words 'because' and 'therefore' to which ikou and inukou 
apparently correspond. The second relationship that may be surmised is that nokou and 
nunokou ('although' and 'nevertheless') are in some sense the "negatives" of kou and nukou 
('therefore' and 'because'); but the reason for this is not so plain. Finally, we might hesitantly 
infer that nunokou ('nevertheless') is the "converse" of nokou ('although'); and this is suggested 
not only by their forms but by the sense of the English words. Let us first examine the two 
converse pairs and return for the more elusive negative relationships later. 

If we restore the prefix i- to these forms and re-examine the English sentences of (1) and (2), we 
see that they do in fact make the same claim and differ only in the order of their clauses. Thus E 
ikou C --where C and E stand for sentences asserting some "cause" and some "effect" 
respectively- is evidently eguivalent in meaning to C inukou E. It is in this sense that inukou is 
indeed the converse of ikou. From sentences (3) and (4) we may draw a parallel conclusion. 
They too make the same claim with the same clauses in different orders. Apparently inokou and 
inunokou are also converse connectives in Loglan, just as 'nevertheless' and 'although' are in 
English. This much is plain, even in English. 

But what about the negative relationships that we suspect exist between ikou and inokou in 
sentences (1) and (3), and between inukou and inunokou in (2) and (4)? We may note that 
sentences (3) and (4) do indeed involve a negative event, namely that you didn't water it, and that 
this is related somehow to the "negative feeling" of 'nevertheless' and 'although' in English. In 
particular, the forms of these two negative sentences are no C inunokou E ('not C nevertheless 
E') and E inokou no C ('E although not C). In these expressions E is still some looked- for 
effect, namely its growth, but no C is now the absence (or negation) of some presumed cause C, 
namely your watering it. This suggests, but does not yet guite explain, the reason for the infix - 
no- in these two negative connectives. 

We proceed now to examine the simplest and probably most basic claim made in these four 
sentences, namely the one made with Loglan inukou and English 'therefore': 

(2) Tu pa cuidru da, inukou da pa rodja Y ou watered it; therefore it grew. 
/tupaC UIdruda.inuko,udapaRODj a/ 

But what does this sentence claim? Clearly it claims more than a similar sentence with the 
logical connection of implication claimed to hold between these same two clauses: 

(5) Kanoi tu fa cuidru da, ki da fa rodja If 'you water it, then it will grow. 

For apart from the obvious difference in tense, the claim of (5) does not reguire that each of its 
constituent sentences be true. Thus it need not grow and you need not water it, and the claim of 
(5) that if 'you water it, then it will grow, may still be true. Not so with the causal claim in (2). Its 
growing and your watering it have, according to (2), actually taken place. For if you can show 
that either of these events has not taken place, you have refuted sentence (2). But is that all? Is 
(2) just an obscure form of logical conjunction? Is (2), in short, eguivalent to (6) below? 

(6) Tu pa cuidru da, ice da pa rodja Y ou watered it, and it grew. 

/tupaC U I druda. JcedapaRO D j a/ 

Clearly not. Some essential ingredient of the claim of (2) is still missing. Sentence (6) expresses 
part of that claim, to be sure, but not all of it. We sense that the missing ingredient is an implicit 
claim that one of these events caused the other one to occur, a claim which we can now make 
explicit with event-descriptions below: 

(7) Lepo tu cuidru da, gu pa ckozu lepo The event of your watering it 
da rodja ca used the event of its growing 

(to occur). 


This sentence makes explicit use of the predicate ckozu, which is the source of the word kou. 
Ckozu [SHKOH-zoo] is a three-place predicate meaning ' a cause of.. .under conditions...', 
and is therefore incompletely specified in (7). In other words we suppose that all English 
sentences involving 'therefore'-and by implication, 'because', 'although' and 'nevertheless' as 
well-always make a covert (and incomplete) claim (incomplete because the conditions so 
essential to a scientific understanding of a causal relationship are, in natural language, never 
specified when these words are used) that some event is related causally to some other event 
(under those unspecified conditions), and this in addition to claiming openly that those two 
events occurred. 

Logically, this is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs. For if sentence (2) with its causal 
connective inukou, is eguivalent to the conjunction of (6) and (7)-from which such connectives 
have been eliminated in favor of explicit predications of what the speaker is in fact claiming to 
be true-then there is every reason in a purely logical language to be unhappy with such words. 
They hide too much. And therefore transformations involving them will, I fear, always be 
obscure. Moreover, they encourage simplistic causal thinking, the kind in which singular events 
are taken to be the causes of singularized effects, while both are blindly ripped from the fabric of 
conditions in which we know, from modern science, causation always occurs. 

These are serious intellectual defects of the Indo-European system of causal words. But Loglan 
is more than a purely logical language, or it is less. For in addition to providing a clear logical 
apparatus for the thinker, Loglan must also accommodate the grammatical machinery of the 
major natural tongues. And not only in English, but in all the Indo-European languages-which 
include six of the eight most widely spoken languages on the planet (the two non-Indo-European 
ones among the first eight being Chinese and Japanese), and is therefore the major human 
language family-the grammatical apparatus for making covert causal claims of just this kind is 
not only universal, it is in most of them a most exuberant growth. For the Indo-European mind is 
apparently fascinated by causation. (This may be one of the reasons why speakers of certain 
ancient Indo-European languages, in particular, the early Greeks, were the principal inventors of 
science.) We are not likely to give that fascination up. So if we were to eliminate causal 
connectives from Loglan in favor of the logically more transparent but more cumbersome forms 
typified by the conjunction of (6) and (7) above, we might find that Loglan translations of all but 
the simplest utterances of the Indo-European tongues might treble the originals in length. Think 

for a moment how indispensable the English writer regards his 'because'es, 'although's and 
'therefore's, how densely they are scattered throughout any carefully reasoned piece of prose-the 
present text for example-and how much, we have learned, such words secretly contain. It is 
clear we cannot ignore the problem of translating such telegraphic words into Loglan. The best 
we can do is provide similar encapsulations of these intricate causal relations but in verbal forms 
that make their logical freight a little easier to bear, and their transformations therefore a little 
easier to perform. This, then, is the limited objective of the apparatus of causal connection in 
Loglan, to the description of which we may now, rather more somberly, return. 

Let us now consider the problem of the two negative causal connectives. If ikou and inukou 
('because' and 'therefore') implicitly claim a causal relationship between events, their negatives, 
inokou and inunokou ('although' and 'nevertheless'), implicitly deny one. Let us see how. 
Consider the difference between the following sentences, one of which we have seen before: 

(3) Da pa rodja, inokou tu no pa cuidru da It grew although you didn't water 


(8) Da pa rodja, ikou tu no pa cuidru da It grew because you didn't water 


Sentence (3) has the form E inokou no C in which a presumed causal agent C (the watering) 
does not occur. Sentence (8) has the form E ikou no C in which the fact that some event C does 
not occur is taken to be a cause of E. Obviously these sentences make vastly different claims 
about the world. 

But both sentences make the same pair of explicit claims, namely that it grew and that you didn't 
water it. But in addition (8) claims implicitly that your not watering it caused it to grow, an 
extraordinary claim but a clear one. Sentence (3), in contrast, apparently denies this causal 
connection between your not having watered it and its growth, for according to (3) it grew 
despite the fact that you didn't water it. Evidently the speaker of (3) believes that its growth was 
caused by something else besides your not having watered it. In (3) da expresses surprise but 
stubborn surprise. What da has observed (namely that it grew) was counter-expected precisely 
because you didn't water it. But da is apparently unwilling to give up the causal principle that 
watering usually causes growth. Da therefore opens the search for other causes of this strange 
effect by denying that your not watering it caused its growth. 

The speaker of (8), in contrast, takes a very different view of the same two events. De refuses to 
be surprised, or to look for another cause. De simply says 'Oh well, it must be the kind of plant 
for which not watering is a cause of growth.' Thus (8) and (3) contradict each other; they cannot 
both be correct explanations of this corner of the world. Since they agree in their explicit claims, 
their disagreement must lie in what they claim implicitly. We have seen that the connective ikou 
represents a positive claim with the predicate ckozu; its denial will therefore involve the negative 
predicate no ckozu. And it is from this relation that we derive the Loglan word for 'although 1 , 
namely from i + no + kou = inokou. 

Once we have seen this, it is an easy matter to derive inunokou from inokou; for it is nothing 
but the converse of the latter: 

(3) Da pa rodja ; inokou tu no pa cuidru da It grew although you didn't water 


(4) Tu no pa cuidru da, inunokou da pa Y ou didn't water it; nevertheless it 
rodja grew. 

And even in English it is clear that (3) and (4) make the same negative claim in converse ways; 
whence i + nu + nokou = inunokou for 'nevertheless'. 

So much for the meanings and derivations of the four most commonly-used causal connectives, 
those built on the causal preposition kou ; which is ; in turn, derived from the predicate ckozu. As 
we have already surmised from the uniform appearance of the prefix i-, they are all members of 
the unmarked, afterthought forms of the sentence connective system, the eesheks. Strings of 
causal connections made with i-marked forms are indeed left- associative: 

(9) Tu pa danza lepo da rodja, inukou tu Y ou wanted it to grow, therefore 
pa cuidru da, inukou da pa rodja you watered it; therefore it grew. 


Like all afterthoughtfully connected seguences, the first two of these three connected clauses are 
evidently to be joined together before the third is added. So we may infer that the speaker is 
claiming, first, that your wanting it to grow caused you to water it; and second, that this seguence 
of causally connected events was itself a cause of a further event, namely its growth. 

So much can be achieved by afterthought connections. But if we now want to assert the right- 
associated claim that the first event, namely your wanting it to grow, was the cause of the 
seguence of events composed of your watering it and its conseguent growth, we can easily say 
that, too. We need only make a forethought form of the connective inukou. To do this we 
remove the leading i- and add -ki as a trailing mark, getting nukouki [noo-koh-OO-kee]. Then, 
because this prefixed connective will now precede the cause ('you watered it') rather than the 
effect ('it grew'), as its analog inukou did in the afterthought mode, we deconvert it, ending up 
with kouki [koh-OO-kee] (read 'because') as the prefix element of the forethought connective. 
Finally, we will use this new kek with the usual infix ki or kinoi as appropriate to join two 
connectands causally as well as logically. Using kouki.. .ki... ('because..., ...') between the last 
two clauses of (9) gives the right- grouping reguired: 

(10) Tu pa danza lepo da rodja, ikou kouki You wanted it to grow; therefore 
tu pa cuidru da, ki da pa rodja because you watered it, it grew. 


While (10) is now plainly right- associative, its meaning does not seem to differ substantially 
from that of (9) in English. But here is a pair of causally- connected sentences in which the left- 
and right- associated senses of the connections among the same trio of clauses differ markedly: 

( 1 1 ) D a pa rodj a ; inokou tu no pa cuidru It grew although you didn't water 
da ; ikou to no pa danza lepo da rodja it, because you didn't want it to 



(12) Da pa rodja ; inokou nukouki tu no pa It grew, although you didn't water 
cuidru da ; ki tu no pa danza lepo da it because you didn't want it to 
rodja grow. 


There is no forethought form of the '...because...' connection in English. If there were one, it 
would be * 'therefore..., ...' Therefore I have translated nukouki... ki... in (12) (whose literal 
translation would be the ungrammatical English form * 'therefore..., ...') by its infixed 
afterthought eguivalent '...because...', and tried to convey the sense of right-grouping reguired by 
shifting the comma ahead of 'although'.. .which is a move familiar to English writers under these 
awkward circumstances. 

The second of these two claims makes modest good sense. It denies the causal influence of the 
antecedent chain of events-composed of your not watering it because you didn't want it to grow- 
-on the growth of the plant in guestion. Sentence (11) is more interesting but probably false. For 
it asserts that the growth of the plant in the absence of your watering it was actually caused by 
your not wanting it to grow.. .a perversity of the adaptive function that would fascinate any 
botanist. Again we see that matters of scope are decisive in Loglan, and decisively plain even in 
situations where English relies on "common sense". As always, we wish to preserve the absolute 
clarity of statement that permits us to talk nonsense when we wish to. 

The grammar of causal connectives, both after- and forethought, is very similar to, though not 
guite the same as, that of the logical connectives with which we dealt in Sections 4.23 and 5.16. 
In fact the syntactical distribution of the i-prefixed causal words (ikou, inukou, etc.) is identical 
to that of the i-prefixed logical connectives (ica, ice, etc.) while the marked series of 
forethought connectives is identical in distribution to the marked logical series, and so on, 
including their application to argument and predicate terms; in short, they are keks. There are, 
however, no causal connectives corresponding to either the eks or sheks, the a-series or ca- 
series of logical connectives. Even so, the range of grammatical expression of causal ideas in 
Loglan is probably greater than in English. Thus, by connecting arguments causally, I can say 
that I love John because I love Mary, briefly and yet precisely in Loglan, while the structurally 
parallel remark in English is apparently ungrammatical: 

(13) Mi cluva kouki la Djan, ki la Meris *I love because John, Mary. 


On the other hand, a grammatical expression of this same sentiment is certainly possible in 
English by using the prepositional form 'because of: 

(14) I love Mary because of (loving) John. Mi cluva la Meris, kou la Djan 


And this, as we see, goes into Loglan guite directly as the modifying phrase kou la Djan and not 
as a connection between arguments at all. In fact, the Loglan causal form in (14) is more flexible 
than that in (13) with its kekked connection. For, as a sentence modifier, kou la Djan may 
appear (nearly) anywhere in this sentence. For example: 

(15) Mi cluva kou la Djan, la Meris I love, because of John, Mary. 


(16) Kou la Djan, mi cluva la Meris Because of John, I love Mary. 


And if this be thought too vague, then the argument of this phrase may be turned into a lepo- 
clause in which more detail can be supplied: 

(17) Kou lepo mi cluva la Djan, gu mi Because I love John, I love Mary, 
cluva la Meris 

/ko,ulepomiC L UvalaD J A N .gumiC L UvalaM E Ris/ 

This makes exactly the same claim as (13). Again, the loglanist has many options, and da may 
choose the one that seems most natural to da, given the customs of da's native language. 

The reader may have noticed that, in designing a system of causal connectives for Loglan, we 
have followed the structural pathways already laid down for the logical connections of the 
language. Thus to learn about the one is to learn a great deal about the other. 

5.28 The Connectives imoi irau isoa 

All the connections formed in the preceding section were based on the implicit use of a single 
predicate, the predicate c k o z u . B ut there are other causal predicates, e.g., modvi and raznu, with 
which one may claim other varieties of causal relations between events. Modvi, for example, 
relates the motivation of some actor to da's action, and raznu relates the reasons given by some 
actor for his act. It is certainly true that the relation posited by ckozu (' a cause of.. .under 
conditions...') is the most general causal predicate in the language in the sense that all others will 
be found to be species of its genus. But analysis of the many near-synonyms of 'because', 
'therefore', 'although' and 'nevertheless' in English suggests that these other, weaker-or more 
sharply focused- -varieties of causal claims are freguently the ones intended by the speaker who 
uses these words in English. For example, the word 'because' seems to have at least four distinct 
meanings in English, as the following sentences show: 

(1) It grew because you watered it. 

(2) I took it because I wanted it. 

(3) He got first prize because he won the race. 

(4) X is not divisible by 2 because it is an odd number. 

Sentence (1) involves 'because' in the broad physical sense of causation with which we have been 
dealing so far. Therefore we will continue to use ikou to translate it. Sentence (2), however, 
seems to speak of that special kind of cause that is a human motive. Of course the speaker might 
wish to speak of even this causal relation in its most general sense, and hence use ikou. But let 
us give da a choice. The predicate modvi means ' a motive of.. .to do... under circumstances...' 
Let us derive a new causal operator imoi from this predicate just as we derived ikou from ckozu. 
With this new connective we can then express the special motivational sense of English 
'because'. And it is with imoi that most speakers will probably choose to translate the sense of 
'because' which occurs in (2) above. ('My wanting it motivated my taking it; and both events 

Sentence (3) expresses still a third sense of causation, namely the kind we call justification. The 
act of giving a criminal a prison sentence or a winner a prize is justified (so we say), by the event 
of their having "earned" it, that is, by the one having fairly and truly won some contest and the 
other having been fairly and truly convicted of some crime. The winning and crime-doing are 
also causes of the prize- and sentence-giving, of course, and curiously enough, they are also 
motivations for it, but motivations of a special kind: namely the kind we feel righteous about. For 
these are the special kind of human motives by the mention of which we defend our actions to 
other humans. 'Why did you give him that sentence (or that prize)?' we ask the judge 'Because he 
earned it' says the judge piously. Impiously da might have said 'Because I wanted to.' Obviously 
these are different senses of 'because'. We will use the predicate raznu (' a reason for.. .to 
do. ..under circumstances...') to form the justificational sense of 'because', namely irau. And this 
is the sense of 'because' most probably intended in sentence (3). ('His winning the race was a 
reason for the judges giving him the prize; and both events happened.') 

But note this. The Loglan speaker of a sentence meaning (3) now has three choices before da. If 
da wants to point to the broadest causal sense in which the winning of some contest led to the 
getting of some prize, da may still use ikou... because the race took place in the physical as well 
as in the social world. If da wants to point to the somewhat narrower sense in which the causal 
relation involved a human motive, for example the judge's desire to please the crowd or even to 
be fair, da may still use imoi. But if, as is most likely, da wishes to point to that very special and 
important kind of motive which we are willing to defend publicly, namely the judge's reason for 
judging justly, da will use irau. Again, we give options to the speaker of Loglan that are implicit, 
but very deeply buried, in the semantic structures of at least some natural languages. 

The fourth variety of causation is more difficult to see. Sentence (4) clearly shows that we also 
use words like 'because' and 'therefore' in contexts in which no ordinary sense of causation is 
intended, and in the formal sciences like logic and mathematics we do so incessantly. At least 
our customary view of arithmetic truth, for instance, convinces us that there is no physical sense 
in which an "event" of something's being an odd number causes the impossibility of some other 
"event," namely dividing it by two. But this conviction may be mistaken. Words and numbers are 
tokens in the symbolic games we play, and among other things they are physical tokens. These 

games have rules: psychosocial, and hence biological and hence, ultimately, physical rules. 
When we "obey" these social rules-for example, by not performing the physical act (one which 
physics allows us to do) of dividing a certain odd number by two and getting an integer for an 
answer-our behavior is in part caused by our having learned just those rules and not some 
others. Moreover, it is caused by them in a certain way, namely we are motivated by them. As 
we sometimes say, we are motivated by our "desire" to obey those rules. (Certainly no purely 
physical law prevents me from writing '3/2 = 1', for I have just done so. But my usual desire not 
to do so is itself a physical, that is, neuro- chemical, thing and a physically powerful restraint; but 
it is a thing, though I assume it is somewhere in my brain, which I cannot otherwise locate for 

But the existence of a social rule concerning the manipulation of symbols is not only part of my 
motive for obeying it, it is also one of my reasons for obeying it, that is, it is a motive for which I 
can expect to be rewarded when it is publicly displayed. Thus if I am formally correct in saying 
that because 3 is an odd number I may not divide it integrally by 2, teachers, mathematicians and 
other critical readers will applaud both my reasons and my reasoning. (If I am incorrect, it means 
I have disobeyed some other rule, which they may be guick to show me.) But these are not 
ordinary reasons, for the rules of logic and arithmetic are not ordinary rules. With other reasons, 
we brook disagreement; with these, we do not. They seem to be built into the symbolic game 
itself. Of course, if we stepped into another culture, with another set of symbols and other logics 
by which to conduct our verbal play, we might be surprised to find some very puzzling 
departures from our own rules lurking there. But in general we do not make this disconcerting 
step.— We accept, as we say, the "logical necessity" of certain conclusions given their premises. 
It is this relationship we covertly predicate when we say 'because' in this fourth and final way. 

This fourth sense of 'because' is derived from the Loglan word snola which means '...entails.. .by 
rules/logic...' or, incompletely, ' one of the premises of...' The derived sense of 'because' that 
means entailment is therefore isoa, and the corresponding sense of 'therefore' is therefore inusoa. 
This completes the set of causal connectives which Loglan provides: (i) the most general sense 
of causation with ikou, (ii) the motivational sense with imoi, (iii) the justificational sense with 
irau, and (iv) that special kind of justification called entailment with isoa. And just as there are 
three additional causal connectives built on the base -kou, namely inukou, inokou and 
inunokou, so there are nine more connectives built on the kernel elements -moi, -rau and -soa, 
and each of these has a forethought version made with -ki and used with infixes ki or kinoi. 
Their uses are straightforward extensions of the principles considered in Section 5.27 . 

5.29 Causal Questions and Answers 

Just as we can use modal operators or tense or location operators to form relative interrogatives 
withhu (Nahu = 'When?'; Vihu = 'Where?'; Douhu [doh-OO-hoo] = 'How?' in the sense of 'By 
what method?'), so we can use causal operators to form the various guestion-asking words which 
translate as English 'Why?': 

(1) Kouhu [koh-OO-hoo] Why? (For what cause?) 

(2) Moihu[MOY-hoo] Why? (For what motive?) 

(3) Rauhu [rah-OO-hoo] Why? (For what reason?) 

(4) Soahu [soh-AH-hoo] Why? (From what premises?) 

Like other -hu words, any of these causal interrogatives may be used anywhere in any sentence, 
and the effect is to turn that sentence into a question: 

(5) Kouhu tu pa felda Why did you fall? (From what 

cause X did you fall?) 

(6) Moihu tu pa godzi Why did you go? (From what 

motive X did you go?) 

(7) Rauhu tu pa faltaa[fahl-TAH-ah] Why did you lie (false-talk)? 

(What reason justified your 

(8) Soahu tu fadpeo toi Why do you conclude (end-think) 

that? (What premise entails that 


Answers to such questions may be made in many ways. First and most economically, a 
designation may be supplied as an answer to the inner question hu ('who?' or 'what?'). To 
question (5) about falling, a designative answer might be: 

(9) Lebanhane The banana. 


Second, an identity sentence might be used to answer the same question: 

( 10) Le banhane bi le ckozu The banana is the cause. 


Third, a predication sentence: 

( 1 1 ) Le banhane pa ckozu The banana was a cause. 

/lebanH A nepaC K zu/ 

Fourth, a relative phrase may be produced using the causal operator embedded in the 
interrogative compound, in this case the one in Kouhu: 

( 1 2) K ou le banhane B ecause of the banana. 


Fifth, a relative clause may be supplied using the same operator: 

(13) Kou lepo le banhane pa nu setfa ba ta Because the banana was put by 

someone there. 

Sixth, a partial sentence, a clause introduced by the corresponding causal connective, may be 
given as an answer: 

(14) Ikou la Djan, pa setfa le banhane ta Because John put the banana 

/iK OulaDJ A N.paSETf alebanHA neta/ 

And this, of course, is only part of, seventh, the complete allegation: 

(15) Mi pa felda, ikou moiki la Djan, pa I fell because (physical sense) 
vizka mi ja kamla, ki da pa setfa le because (motivational sense) John 
banhane ta saw me coming, he (was 

motivated to) put the banana 

kidapaSETf alebanHA neTA/ 

Now it should be noted that nothing prevents the loglanist from asking da's causal guestions the 
other way round, that is, with effects rather than causes as the objects of inguiry. In doing so, 
there will usually be no simple English parallels. So English translations of such guestions are 
often circumlocutory: 

(16) Nukouhu tu pa felda Y our falling had what effect? 

(Literally, Therefore- what you 

(17) Nusoahu tu fadpeo toi What follows from your 

concluding that? (Literally, 
Therefore- what you conclude 

But curiously enough, there is one fairly common English interrogatory remark- -albeit a fairly 
impertinent one-that does run the causal inguiry in this direction, and that is 'So what?' This 
expression translates very neatly into Loglan as: 

(18) Nusoahu What follows? 


And in a logical language it may not be impertinent to inguire into the conseguences of one's 
interlocutor's remarks. 

It may also be observed that to put a guestion to someone ba with kou or nukou does not 
preclude ba's answering at some more specific level of causal inguiry. Thus, to guestion (5) 
above, about the general cause of your falling, answers made with moi or even rau are surely 

(19) Imoi mi pa danza lepo tcaku tu B ecause I wanted to startle you. 

/iM ImipaD A NzalepoTC A kutu/ 

throws an entirely new light on this apparently externally- caused event by confessing that there 
was an inner motivation for it, while 

(20) Irau raba pia felda Because everyone was falling. 

/iRA urabapiaFE L da/ 

goes even further and suggests that, in addition to being motivated, your falling had a 
justification.. .a reason you would defend. It is difficult to think, however, of how an answer 
made with soa could be made to such a guestion (what entails a falling?). A guestion put at one 
of the finer levels of causal analysis is not, however, very adeguately answered at a grosser level. 
To answer guestion (8), for example, about what entails a certain conclusion you have drawn-let 
us say, in writing-the reply: 

(21) Ikou lemi pinsi pa clidu Because my pencil slid. 


might well be regarded as irreverent. An explanation, possibly; but not an answer to a guestion 
about entailment. 

In closing this discussion of the causal utterance forms of Loglan, it may be useful to remind the 
reader that the entire causal apparatus we have just described reflects the usages and grammatical 
provisions of one family of languages most particularly. This is the Indo-European language 
family, albeit a wide and important one as we have noted. But in this feature of its grammar 
Loglan is not truly cross-cultural. For the luxuriance of Loglan's 'because's, 'although's and 
'therefore's will strike no welcoming chord in many non-Indo-European human breasts. In this, 
as in several other matters, Loglan accommodates the linguistic exuberance of certain important 
languages whose speakers have things to say which simply cannot be said (neatly) in any other 
way. The cost of doing so may be great. For the causal predicates which underlie these 
grammatical provisions are probably less necessary for human thought than most of us who 
speak European languages are accustomed to assume, and, as we have noted, they may even 
obscure thoughtful speech in some important ways. It is noteworthy that scientists use the causal 
mode of explanation less freguently these days, often preferring functional expressions relating 
one variable to another in which neither is labelled as the "cause" . For nothing has proved more 
elusive, scientifically, than the very idea of causation, historically important for the early 

development of science though this concept may have been. It may therefore be a mistake to 
follow the European languages down this slippery but historic pathway. But if it is, it is a 
mistake that we have found unavoidable; and for the reasons we have given. 

Even so ; these are reasons that may be set aside one day. A more international generation of 
loglanists may eventually decide to simplify its language by replacing its Indo-European-derived 
causal apparatus with.... 

Only they will be able to tell us what. 


1 In preparing text to be submitted to the Loglan parser, the user should know that both periods 
(.) and cross-hatches (#) are currently being treated by The Institute's parsing program as end-of- 
utterance signs. Thus the computer currently collapses the distinction between utterances and 
speeches which we have just developed. This is because, at the time of writing [1988], the 
Loglan parsing program is not designed to act on instructions in Loglan- for this to be possible, 
an understanding of the structure of its interlocutor's speeches will no doubt be essential-but 
simply to exhibit to the human learner how and whether the machine has been able to parse some 
utterance, thus informing its author what da actually conveyed to the machine by it. The 
specimen sentences parsed in this way will either have been submitted to the parser one at a time 
or they will have been extracted by the program from a submitted text and parsed in seguence. 
For such didactic purposes, then, we have found that it is best to limit the machine's parses to 
reasonably short units, such as single utterances. 

2 In 1975 Loglan it was the local modifiers that were unmarked and the global ones that were 
marked. Nine years later James F. Carter pointed out (personal communication) that the latter 
were much more numerous in natural language than the former, citing the decisive evidence he 
had gathered by counting the incidence of the two types of modifying phrases in a large corpus 
of English sentences. Carter proposed that the unmarked Loglan status be reassigned to the 
commoner form. That unmarked forms have higher use-freguencies than marked ones is a 
general linguistic law, and one which we had applied repeatedly in engineering Loglan. So of 
course Carter's finding was accepted by The Institute and unmarked modifiers officially became 
sentence modifiers in 1984. The Carter finding had sweeping formal conseguences, however, 
and it was not fully incorporated into the machine grammar until 1986 and 1987. The first 
published account of the new arrangements appeared in Brown (1987). 

3 We here use the word 'modal' in a sense that differs from its usual meaning in logic. 

4 This move was first suggested by James F. Carter (1981) and, for a time, these structures were 
called "Carter Vocatives". 

5 Note that *iu no, or "negative ignorance," is undefined. This is because iu is, in effect, the 
zero-point on the conviction scale and is therefore neither positive nor negative. 

6 Thus the reader may observe that the attitude indicators are not operators in the logical sense at 
all; in particular, they are not modal operators. I have taken Quine's strictures on modal logics 
(1961a, p. 156) to be sufficient to discourage any effort to incorporate one into Loglan. 

7 Traditionally, that is, since Ogden and Richard's groundbreaking work (1938). 

8 Already some further suggestions have been made. Reader Perry Smith, for example, suggests 
oueu = 'It doesn't matter' + 'we suppose that', or, as in mathematics, 'Without loss of generality 
we may suppose that ...' 

9 The discovery that Loglan needed a connective interrogative was of course made by Prof. John 
Parks- Clifford, The Institute's logician at the time (personal communication, 1977). 

10 Each word on this list except toe (from to) and nao (from English 'Now') is derived from a 
primitive predicate: coa from corta ('short'), dou from donsu ('give'), and so on. Such 
derivations are strictly mnemonic, however; for the functions of the discursive operators 
(attention- calling, etc.) are very different from the meanings of predicates (claiming, etc.). See 
Loglan 2, Chapter 8, The Theory of Loglan Semantics, for further discussion of this point. 

1 1 There is something unsatisfactory to me about this indefinitely long and formless list of 
inference-shaping words. I suspect that they belong to a region of language behavior to which 
insufficient logical and semantical analysis has yet been applied. Zellig Harris's "discourse 
analysis" (1952), for example, only scratches its crusty surface; and certainly I do not claim to 
have broken through. But I also suspect that a proper analysis of the discourse- shaping 
transformations of speech would not only be difficult to perform on the natural languages, but 
that once performed could only lead, if Whorf is right, to a set of operators and a transformation 
schema that would be far more sophisticated than minds originally trained in the natural 
languages would know how to use. Perhaps such sophisticated developments are best left for 
Loglan 2 ; for the leap from Loglan to such hyperlogical manipulations of the flow of discourse 
may, when it happens, not be so great as the one from English, say, to this only faintly- 
envisioned realm. All this suggests, of course, that any given logical language will prove to be 
only a temporary blessing. From its heights new logics will almost certainly be glimpsed; but we 
cannot hope that these transcendental modes of thought will be optimally facilitated in the 
language from whose rude platform they have first been barely seen. And from the point of view 
of thinkers attempting these new transcendental operations, what was once a "logical" language 
will then seem "illogical" indeed. This is the dynamic corollary of Whorf's hypothesis, of course: 
the "boot-strapping" operation to which I alluded in Section 1.2 . It is also the historical loop- 
hole, in his essentially static conception of the constraints on language growth, through which the 
Western languages, anyway, with their proliferation of symbolic calculi, seem already to have in 
part escaped. 

12 My treatment of identity throughout this section, and despite its linguistical air, owes much to 
the logical writings of Quine; especially his (1961) and (1961a). 

13 We may express what sentence (7) is about by rewriting it as a predication sentence: 

(7a) Li ; Semiul Klemenz, lu ; e li ; Mark 'Samuel Clemens' and 'Mark 
Twain, lu namci ba Twain' are (both) names of (the 

same) something. 

If one can agree that (7) and (7a) have the same truth-conditions, one must then agree that 
sentence (7) is not about Mark Twain. In fact the expression la Semiul Klemenz in (7) does not 
designate anything at all. Instead, it is a specimen designation being exhibited-much as guoting 
it would do-to the eye (or ear) of the beholder as an example of something that is capable, on 
suitable occasions, of designating the same thing as some other specimen designation, namely la 
Mark Tuein, is capable of designating on perhaps guite different occasions. The Morning Star 
is, to be sure, the Evening Star, and both are the planet Venus; but when this object is in the 
evening sky it would make no sense to call it by the first of these three names. 

14 The point here is that any (sensible) conversation reguires that all parties agree (more or less) 
on who or what they are talking about. Once this is established- by effective new designations or 
by identities which call up old ones- the speakers can then proceed to make predications with 
some confidence that all parties know where to find, if necessary, the objects to which they 
apply. This is the sense in which every designation is contextual. For the effectiveness of a 
designation can only be judged in the context in which its production is intended to bring about 
this essential cognitive rapport between interlocutors. 

15 Eventually a "partitive" operator may be reguired in Loglan with the sense of ' a part of 
individual...' If this happens, sentences formed with this operator will be of the same 
grammatical class as the identity and membership sentences discussed here. Such an operator 
will be particularly useful in case scientific words should be formed as names; see Loglan 2, 
Chapter 12, Some Alternative Ways of Making Scientific Words. 

16 Much of the mystery that surrounds numbers probably derives from the unclarity of our talk 
about them. Are they names? Or are they things? If things, where are they? And if names, of 
what things? On the view taken in this book numbers are, like Alice in Wonderland, imaginary 
things. The names of numbers, are of course, not imaginary, just as Alice' is not imaginary, but 
Alice, the girl in Wonderland, surely is. Still, we can ask sensible guestions about Alice: Was she 
tall? Or was she fat? How old was she? By consulting the works of Lewis Carroll one can find 
out. Similarly, one may ask sensible guestions about numbers: Is the number two odd? Or is it 
even? By consulting the designation- rules of mathematics-that is, the mathematical identities- 
one can find out. For in mathematics one settles such guestions not by examining Two-for like 
Alice, Two cannot be examined-but by examining its other names. 

17 If logical considerations were our only concern we would certainly dispense with these 
subordinate predicate constructions in designing Loglan; for surely (10) and (12) are 
transformationally more obscure than (11). But we must also accommodate the natural 
languages; and, in the Indo-European languages at least, constructions which exhibit the author's 
views on the relative importance of his predications are essential to "good writing." Clearly we 
must provide translations which conserve these forms and exhibit these intentions. At the same 
time it is possible that forms like (11) will find uses in the language in contexts where 
transformational concerns are paramount. 

18 (16) is not because the identifying clause in (16) need not be true for the sentence as a whole 
to be true. X may not be a gift but stolen property and still be a black horse. 

19 To ji ja, jie jae, jio jao we would have to add another pair of links for partitive modifiers if a 
partitive sentence operator were added to the language; see Note 15. 

20 The identification- predication distinction is not guite strong enough to handle all such 
problems on its own. Take the charmingly ambiguous English sentence (a) 'He wants to marry a 
Norwegian.' The pair of translations (i) Da danza lepo mercea ba ji norgi ('He wants to marry 
someone Norwegian') and (ii) Da danza lepo mercea ba ja norgi ('He wants to marry someone, 
and that someone is, incidentally, a Norwegian') doesn't guite capture these two English 
meanings; for in (ii), the linked predication j a norgi, 'who is, incidentally, a Norwegian', falls 
within the scope of the Loglan lepo-clause. Thus a fastidious back translation of (ii) into English 
would produce (ii 1 ) 'He wants the event of (his) marrying someone x, who turns out (surprise!) to 
be a Norwegian, to take place.' This is, to be sure, a possible third interpretation of (a). But it is a 
guaint and unlikely one, given the structure of English. The real second horn of this dilemma in 
English cannot be accurately expressed until we have moved the ja-claim outside the lepo- 
clause, which can be done as in (iii) Da danza lepo mercea ba, ice ba norgi ('X desires the 
event of marrying someone x, and x is a Norwegian'). The new connective ice, which functions 
here as 'and' between two coordinate clauses, will be found with its numerous kin in section 5.24 . 
I am indebted to Winograd (1984) for this delicious example. 

21 The machine grammar treats free modifiers that are single words- that is, all free modifiers 
except the vocatives and parentheses, which may have internal grammatical development- as 
"grammatical noise". Thus a part of the parsing program called the "preparser" removes all such 
"noisy elements" from the specimen before passing it on to the parser. This and several similar 
strategies make it possible for an LR1 parser ("Left-generating, Right- reducing, 1-lookahead") 
to parse a human language which is clearly not LR1 . There is more on the machine grammar 
strategy in Loglan 6 and Brown (1982a). 

22 According to Greenberg (1966), three of the six possibilities, VSO, SVO and SOV, are the 
three dominant world word-orders, in that the three major divisions of human languages may be 
characterized by their use of them. The other three permutations- which may be generated by 
exchanging the positions of S and in the dominant ones, thus VOS, OVS and OSV-occur only 
as infreguent variants of one of the three major types... much as VOS occurs as a literary variant 
of SVO in English. Apparently none of these minor forms is the preferred form in any language, 
however. Of the three dominant word-orders, SVO is much the most common, both in the 
number of speakers of the languages that employ it, and in the number of those languages. 
Chinese, English, Finnish, Greek, Russian and all the Romance and Germanic languages are 
SVO (Greenberg's Type II languages). SOV (Greenberg's Type III) is a close second as far as the 
number of languages is concerned, but gives no contest at all in number of speakers. Languages 
such as Hindi, Japanese, Basgue and Turkish are SOV. VSO, which is the logician's preferred 
notation (and Greenberg's Type I), is a distant third in numbers of both speakers and languages. 
Languages such as Hebrew, Maori, Masai and Welsh are of this least common word-order type. 
Loglan can handle all six of these word-orders, including their imperatives as defined by the 
absence of a subject. In the declarative mood, the three dominant forms are handled by the 

punctuation schemata gaVgaSO, SVO and SOV--note that two forms, the most widespread two, 
are completely unmarked in Loglan-while gaVOgaS, OgiVgaS and OgiSV handle the three 
subdominant orders. The imperative forms are simpler. Two subject-less forms suffice for the 
six: the forms VO, VO and OgiV serve the three dominant patterns, and the forms VOgi, OgiV 
and OgiV again serve the subdominant ones. 

23 It is for this reason that the Polish Notation, of which the marked series of Loglan connectives 
is a variation, is called "parenthesis- free." Of course it is not wholly parenthesis- free, since the 
leading marker functions as a left- parenthesis. 

24 The phrases *i ca, *i ce, etc., with which these new words might be confused, do not occur 
grammatically in Loglan. 

25 By the seguence of transformations -(p --> g) <--> -(-p v g) <--> (-p • -g) <--> (p • -g), the 
middle and crucial one being one form of DeM organ's Law. 

26 This exceeds the number of connective words in English by a factor of about 4. The 14 
English connective words are 'and', 'both', 'but', 'either', 'if, 'neither', 'nor', 'not', 'only', 'or', 
'possibly', 'then', 'unless' and 'whether'. They are used to construct longer expressions such as 'if 
and only if, 'whether or not', and 'and possibly both', as well as figuring alone and in pairs 

('if... then...'). Needless to say the method of constructing these phrases is far from regular; neither 
is it transformationally transparent. There are, for example, speakers of English who do not know 
what the transforms of 'unless' and 'only' are. Thus 'Only the brave deserve the fair' is still a 
stumper in Freshman logic. Why such expressions should be so obscure in natural language is 
difficult to say. But there are no such uncrackable verbal nuts in Loglan. 

27 These are the four kernel elements a, e, o and u, the three syntactic affixes c-, k-, and i-, and 
the three semantic affixes nu, no and noi. But these last three do not have to be learned afresh as 
they have similar meanings elsewhere. Knowing these ten elements, then, the hearer or reader 
will be able immediately to recognize every new connective as a variation of alternation, 
conjunction, eguivalence or independence on the basis of its kernel vowel; the transformational 
character of the variation can then be gleaned from the affixes nu, no or noi, if any are attached; 
and finally the scope of the connection can then be determined by inspection of the affixes c-, k-, 
or i-, if any of these is used. Thus the Loglan system of connectives may actually be simpler to 
learn than the English one, despite its greater contextual explicitness. 

28 Loglan is indebted to Prof. Herschel Elliott of the Department of Philosophy of the University 
of Florida at Gainesville for the system of implicit guantification described in this section. Prof. 
Elliott's objective in devising this system was to make symbolic logic teachable; mine in 
adapting it for Loglan, to make it speakable. The objectives are similar but do not everywhere 
dictate the same procedures. So I take complete responsibility for any errors of interpretation or 
of logic which I may have made in adapting Elliott's system to the purposes of speech. 

29 Conversely, to express any explicitly guantified claim involving a multi-place predicate 
implicitly one must first find a converse operation, or a set of such operations, which orders the 
non-designative arguments of the predicate in guestion in the same order as their variables 

appear in the explicit quantifier string. In Loglan there will always be such a set of operations for 
every possible order of the arguments of multi-place predicates, although some permutations of 
the arguments of higher-order predicates require as many as four or five operations to express, 
and the compound conversion operator that results is probably unintelligible. If it were ever 
desired to actually manipulate such intricate claims implicitly, a set of auxiliary conversion 
operators capable of exchanging places among sutori arguments would have to be added to the 

30 The existence of a complete set of such rules is as yet a conjecture; and as I have been, since 
1975, occupied with matters of linguistic engineering, I have not had time to investigate the 
matter myself. However, it is known that algorithms exist for expressing the implicit quantifiers 
of any simple sentence explicitly, and for transforming any explicitly quantified simple sentence 
into a form in which its quantifiers may be implicitly expressed no matter what the length of its 
polyadic predicate or the order of its quantifiers; see Note 29 above. Moreover, the scope- 
problem for any two-clause connected sentence can probably also be solved; see Note 31 below. 
But the analysis of quantifier scope in third- and higher- order connected sentences has not yet 
been undertaken. 

31 The following equivalences, in which 'p' is any sentence not containing 'x', 

(x)(Fx->p) <->(3x)Fx->p 
(3x)(Fx->p) <->(x)Fx->p 

(x)(p -> Fx) <--> p -> (x)Fx 
(3x)(p->Fx) <->p->(3x)Fx 

or, in Loglan, 

Raba kanoi ba F ki p <--> Ba F, inoca p 

Ba kanoi ba F ki p <--> Raba F, inoca p 
Raba kanoi p ki ba F <--> p, inoca raba F 

Ba kanoi p ki ba F <--> p, inoca ba F 

suffice for shortening the scope of any quantifier of any implication in which the variable of the 
quantifier does not appear in exactly one of its clauses. The scopes of quantifiers of two-clause 
connected sentences made with other connectives, and in which an x-free clause p appears, may 
be similarly shortened. The general rule is that if either of the two negative affixes, no- or -noi 
appears in the Loglan connective word on the same side of that connective as the clause 'Fx' 
appears, then the short-scope quantifier will be of the type opposite to that of the long-scope 
quantifier; in all other cases it will be of the same type. This rule depends on nothing more 
mysterious than the equivalence of '-(x)' and '(Ex)-', and of '(x)-' and '-(Ex)'. 

32 Notice that were we to encounter an explicitly quantified sentence, like (6), with a negative 
internal designative argument, the negative would have to be "exported" to predicate- negative 
position, as in (7). This is an awkward move. But if the logical usages here proposed for Loglan 

are followed, such sentences will not be encountered. They are not ungrammatical, however; 
they are merely invalid transformations of sentences like (2) on the conventions here proposed. 
One cannot of course, legislate grammatically against bad logic any more than against bad 
arithmetic. Thus Te le to mrenu pa gotso = Three of the two men went' are grammatical but 
false sentences in both languages. Sentence (6) is not false, but it is an invalid transform of (2). 

33 This is, of course, the step Whorf asks us to take. 

C hapter 6 

6.1 Language and Growth 

Languages behave in many ways as if they were alive. For one thing, all languages grow. For 
another, each language seems to grow in its own way, as if it had its own unigue pattern of 
openness and resistance which causes it to change guite readily in some directions but not at all 
in others. For example, one of the ways in which English seems to grow is by swallowing the 
words of other languages whole. As Otto Jespersen, the late 19th, early 20th century Danish 
linguist, once put it, English eats other languages alive. Not so with French, for example, which 
prefers to redefine old words to meet new needs or coin new metaphors from old roots. Chinese 
also shies away from foreign loan-words and grafts new ideas onto ancient stock. Japanese, on 
the other hand, is more like English, adopting and repronouncing foreign words with gay 
abandon. Changes in the pronunciation of words over time seem also to follow special patterns 
which are unigue to individual languages, or to small groups of closely related tongues. And it is 
a major, but so- far untested, hypothesis of linguistic theory that each language tends to develop 
its own metaphysical outlook on the world. All this has suggested to nearly all students of 
language that languages are rather idiosyncratic creatures, disorderly in externals but internally 
autonomous, and in any case very much alive. 

Now if you plant something that you thought was a tree and it doesn't grow, then you were 
mistaken. What you planted was a stick: a poor wooden thing, stiff and unyielding, and without 
the essential expansiveness, that ability to stretch and swell and fill its niche, that is the very stuff 
of life. So with languages; if they are alive, they grow. Some partisans of the international 
language movement have argued that one of the advantages of a constructed language over a 
natural one, as a universal second tongue, would be that the constructed language wouldn't 
change. They may be right; but certainly it is a mistake to hope so. For just to the extent that such 
hopes are fulfilled, they fail. An unchanging language would be a useless corpse, suitable for 
ritual incantations, perhaps, but guite incapable of serving the changing needs of humans. Latin 
is said to be a "dead language"; and so it may be. But not because it isn't spoken. For it is 
obediently intoned in churches and schoolrooms even yet. If it is dead, it is because it has 
stopped growing. Nobody lives in the house of Latin anymore. Its vast, still rooms no longer 
echo to the sounds of scuffling life. 

Now if Loglan is a language, one of the ways that we will know it, will be that it will grow. The 
ways in which Loglan has been built to grow are a very carefully considered part of its structure. 
We have realized from the outset that if the language is to be easily learned, its initial vocabulary 
must be very small. But even though small, that initial vocabulary must be capable of very rapid 
growth.. .growth both in the mind of the learner, as da encompasses the language, and in the 
community of speakers as they continually expand its corpus to match their expanding need. The 

machinery we have provided for rapid, spontaneous and yet orderly growth is the main topic of 
this chapter. 

But first a warning. Natural languages grow rather slowly. The proportion of people who now 
speak English who will contribute a living word to it during their lifetimes is rather small. A few 
scholars will do it; a journalist now and then; a poet to implement a new perception; an inventor 
gazing fondly at the new thing da has made; or an occasional gifted urchin who, searching for a 
word de doesn't know, coins one in desperation that happens to stick among de's fellows and then 
lives on as slang. But the freguency of these events reckoned over the populations who speak 
these modern languages is very small. Most of us live with our native languages as we find them. 
To make new words ("neologisms," as they are called by pedants) is not approved in college 
classrooms. Word-building is a game we are taught not to play. 

Not so with Loglan. If Loglan lives, it will be in part because its very structure stimulates the 
poetic impulse in a substantial proportion of its speakers. Or because the word-making game in 
Loglan turns out to be easy and fun to play. In most of this chapter we will be describing the 
rules of that word-making game. But first let us review the resources with which we start the 

6.2 Seven Kinds of Lexical G rowth 

Let us take stock of what we have. At the present time (1989) the vocabulary of Loglan stands at 
around 9,000 words. Of these, about 300 are simple little words, the 1-, 2- and 3-letter structure 
words such as a, ia, ta and tai with which we have been mainly concerned in describing the 
grammar of Loglan; another 500 or 600 are compound little words, the less commonly used, 
longer structure words, such as pana and anoi, with which we have had less to do in this book; 
another few hundred are illustrative names such as Djan and Frans (the number of names in any 
language is of course unlimited; the set provided in the current Loglan lexicon simply illustrates 
the naming process); and the remaining 8,000, or more than 90% of the present vocabulary, are 
predicate words of various kinds. 

Among the little words are the hard- worked common words, like le, la, da, pa and ba, some of 
which occur in nearly every utterance. Such words lay out the grammatical and logical structure 
of ideas. But if grammar and logic, through their little words, provide the bones of a language, 
predicates provide its infinitely varied flesh. Grammars, and the little words that impart 
grammatical structure, are necessarily finite affairs; the vocabulary of predicates, in contrast, is 
in principle infinite in size. This is true in any language. In theory, and perhaps also in practice, 
there may be many learned persons who know the whole grammar of English. No one knows the 
whole predicate vocabulary of English, and now that it has passed the half-million mark, no one 
ever will. Obviously, if we are concerned with how Loglan might grow, it is with the 
mechanisms for augmenting its predicate vocabulary that we will be primarily concerned. 

Of the 8,000 predicate words that are currently defined in Loglan, approximately 1,500 are 
borrowings-most of those from the vocabulary of science-and another 1,300 are "primitive" in 
the sense that they are not derived from any other word or words in the language. The largest 
subset of the primitive predicates are the basic semantic building- blocks of the language, the 860 

"composite" words like mrenu and fumna. Recall that these have been derived as broadly as 
possible from eight natural languages. But the 5,200 current Loglan predicates which are neither 
borrowed nor primitive, and which we accordingly call "complex/ 1 is by far the largest category 
of words in the language. These have nearly all been derived from two or more of the composite 
primitives.. .with an occasional assist from a little word like ne ; no or nu. In English, 'ease' is a 
primitive predicate: 'easy' and 'uneasy' are complex. More obviously, 'black' and 'berry' are 
primitive; 'blackberry' is complex. 

With relatively few exceptions, the predicates used in the specimen sentences in this volume 
have been composite primitives. Indeed, only about a hundred of the 860 composites have been 
used to write the specimens used in this book. These are the words like kamla and godzi, 
matma and farfu, ditca and kicmu, which we have encountered over and over again. 
Occasionally a complex predicate has been used to illustrate a grammatical point; but these have 
been introduced metaphorically as we went along. For example, faltaa [fahl-TAH-ah] ('liar') was 
introduced as 'false-talker'. The word is a complex formed of parts of the two primitive 
predicates falji ('false') and takna ('talk'), from which we learn that 'false-talker' is the basic 
metaphor underlying the Loglan conception of a liar. Similarly, mormao [MAWR-mough] 
('kill') is made from mor- and -mao; and these parts come from the primitives morto ('dead') and 
madzo ('make'). So to kill something is to "make it dead" in Loglan. By a similar metaphor, a 
scientist is a "science- maker", someone who contributes to the growth of science; so the Loglan 
word for 'scientist' is sesmao. The word is made from the ses- of sensi ('science') plus -mao 
again. There are numerous -mao words in Loglan. For example, rojmao comes from rodja 
madzo or 'grow-make' and so means 'cultivate'. Agronomy can then be conceived as 
"cultivation-science"; and this metaphor can be rendered by the three- term complex 
rojmaosensi. Loglan for 'agronomist' then unfolds as the four-term word rojmaosesmao ("grow- 
make- science- maker"). In this way the pool of predicates can be indefinitely extended by the 
metaphorical elaboration of the fundamental ideas of the language. It is clear that the elaboration 
of new complex predicates by the invention of new metaphors will be the major source of future 
word growth in the language. 

But it is not the only source. Our studies of these matters over the years have suggested that there 
are at least six further ways in which the vocabulary of Loglan will continue to grow. In addition 
to new complexes, there is a small pool of what might be called "international" words-words 
like 'telephone', 'football' and 'beer'-which has been only partly incorporated into Loglan. Most 
of these now- international words originally spread across the planet in the wake of commerce or 
conguest during the centuries of European expansion; so they are nearly all European words. But 
despite their local origins, they are now universally recognized. They are therefore ready to be 
added gratuitously, as it were, to the vocabulary of Loglan. Usually they are incorporated as 
primitive-form words: futbo, telfo, paspo. Others come in as longer borrowings: tcokolate. 
About a hundred of these words have already been brought in. Perhaps a few hundred more 

A morphological aside. When a Loglan word is primitive in form-i.e., when it looks and sounds 
like a primitive, as telfo and futbo do-but is derived as these words are from only one or a few 
languages, it is called a one-source primitive in order to distinguish it from the composite 
primitives, like sensi, morto and madzo, which are derived from as many languages as possible. 

Complex predicates like mormao and sesmao are largely made, of course, from composite 
primitives; for it is these that have been provided with the short affixes, like ses-, mor- and - 
mao ; that are the principal building blocks of the language. But morphologically, locally- 
derived primitives like futbo are also primitive... even if they are not semantically so. Words that 
are neither primitive nor complex, but are still predicates, are called borrowings. These are 
words like trombona, iglu and proteini which are obviously predicates (they have all the 
necessary features) but are neither primitive nor complex in form. Armed with these few 
principles, let us continue our survey of the possible sources of future word-growth in Loglan. 

In addition to the international words- which come into Loglan either as one-source primitives or 
borrowings-there is a second, even larger pool of "native" words which, when their meanings 
are reguired by Loglan scholars and story-tellers, will probably also be adopted. These are the 
local words for languages, peoples, artifacts, articles of food and dress, or even local plants and 
animals. Such things are often unigue to the places where they originated-or at least, like kayaks 
and parkas, they were originally- and so they should obviously be predicated in Loglan by words 
which resemble the local words for them as closely as possible. Most of these words, like Innuit 
'igloo 1 , are primitive notions to the original users. So they should probably not be built as 
complexes even though they could be. Thus nichaa [neesh-HAH-ah] ('snow- house') is really not 
an adeguate translation of Innuit 'igloo'. As it happens, the Loglan borrowing can be an exact 
imitation of the original Innuit word, namely iglu. 

By a similar route Swahili simba for 'lion' also entered our international language intact. Like 
parka, the natural word 'simba' already has the shape of a Loglan primitive. Since the once- 
widespread lion is now virtually confined to Africa, it seems only fair to use the most widely- 
used African word for the beast. The Innuit word 'kayak' also names a unigue category of objects 
on this planet, and so also deserves to be preserved and not metaphorized. But as the word 
/KAiak/ is vowel- rich and consonant- final, it is more difficult to import into Loglan than iglu, 
parka and simba were. We will learn how to borrow it in Section 6.5 . 

Another source of locally- derived words are the language- nationality- culture triplets which we 
find in Loglan: words like spana, spani and spano. As we have already noted, all three of these 
were derived from Spanish 'Espan(i)ol' and mean in some sense 'Spanish'. Such words are 
brought into Loglan either as one-source primitives, as these three were, or as borrowings. So 
these, too, form a large pool of importable natural words only a small portion of which has yet 
been imported. In addition to the "Spanish" triplet above-spana for 'is an instance of the Spanish 
language', spani for 'is a Spaniard/Spanish person', and spano for 'is a Spanish custom/instance 
of Spanish culture'- we also have, with parallel meanings, dotca/-i/-o from German 'Deutsch' and 
'deutsche', hinda/-i/-o from Hindi 'Hindi' and 'Hindu', ponja/-i/-o from Japanese 'Nippon' and 
'nippon-ji', and junga/-i/-o from Chinese 'Zhung' and 'Zhungwo'. There are perhaps a dozen more 
of these primitive- form triplets in the current lexicon. But this just scratches the surface. There 
are at least 5,000 nameable languages on this planet; and a distinct people and culture- or at least 
a sub- culture- can usually be associated with each language. 

There is still a fourth body of internationally-used concepts waiting to be incorporated into 
Loglan, and it is the largest yet. This is the international vocabulary of science. Of these, by a 
conservative estimate, there are now upwards of a guarter of a million terms. Science words were 

mainly derived from Latin or Greek by European scholars during the few centuries since the 
European Renaissance, and they are found similarly- spelled, or spelled with only minor and 
often quite regular variations, in nearly all European languages. Indeed, when suitably 
transliterated into other writing schemes, they are to be found in all the other world languages 
whose speakers now "do science". 1 In incorporating these and other scholarly words into Loglan, 
we regularly use not the sound but the appearance of the scientific word as our model. We do 
this because, while scientific words are often pronounced very differently in different languages, 
their appearance on the printed page is usually quite uniform over many languages. The 
uniformity is often faithfully preserved even when the original Graeco-Latin word has been 
transliterated into some other alphabet, for example, into Cyrllic, the alphabet of Russian. So it is 
the scientific reader, not the listener, we must keep in mind when we are borrowing a scientific 
word for Loglan. 

In making a scientific borrowing we try to retain those portions of the international word that are 
most consistently retained in other languages. This means avoiding the special endings that are 
often imposed by certain languages as well as language-specific spellings. At the same time, the 
resulting word must be a Loglan predicate, made with Loglan phonemes, and so display at least 
one consonant- pair as well as being vowel-final. It must also be regularly pronounceable as a 
Loglan word however it is spelled. Proteini [proh-TAY -nee] is an example of a word which 
meets all these requirements handsomely. It not only captures the look of what amounts to the 
"same word" in all European languages, but its final vowel is the standard /-i/ given to all Loglan 
scientific borrowings. So to a Loglan reader it has the unmistakable look-and sound, when da 
pronounces it— of a scientific borrowing. As many science words in Loglan do, it sounds a bit 
Italian. But that's fair; the scientific Renaissance commenced in Italy. 

Not all ISV words ("International Scientific Vocabulary") fare so well. Take the word that is 
spelled 'atom' in English. Adding the conventional ending -i to the English word (which happens 
also to be the invariant international stem) gives ?atomi. (A leading question-mark, recall, is the 
mark of a trial word.) But heard in a Loglan utterance this trial word would break up as the little 
word phrase a to mi = 'Or two of me'. Thus ?atomi lacks the essential consonant- pair that is the 
distinctive feature of the Loglan predicate. But this lack is easily supplied. We insert a "gluing 
consonant'-conventionally the phoneme /h/-between the III and /o/ of ?atomi, and this gives 
the word the required consonant- pair: ?athomi. Moreover, it puts the consonant-pair in a 
position that will prevent the trial-word from breaking up. The result is athomi [aht-HOH-mee], 
a word that now passes all tests. While not so immediately recognizable as proteini is, the 
Loglan word for 'atom' is still recognizable on second glance... especially by loglanists who 
know the gluing art and understand the vital need for it.- 

Probably the International Scientific Vocabulary is the largest single population of words that 
will ever be incorporated into Loglan. Now approaching uniformity in all the languages whose 
speakers follow science, the terminology of science has become a truly planetary linguistic 
phenomenon, its numbers probably now growing more swiftly than that of any other body of 
words on the planet. In a sense it is already an international language, one waiting only for its 
grammar. Loglan may supply that international grammar. Sections 6.5-9 will be devoted to the 
art of ushering this flood of international words into Loglan. 

So far we have mentioned making complex predicates and borrowing three kinds of concepts: 
international but once- local words in common use, language- nationality- and- culture words, and 
the vocabulary of science. We have treated these as four sources of potential growth for Loglan. 
A fifth but much smaller source of future growth is that we may yet find that the present set of 
semantically basic predicates, the composite primitives, is not yet complete... that is, not yet 
entirely adeguate to the growth needs of the language. It is these semantically basic words, of 
course, that are employed in building complex predicates. They represent concepts that are 
nearly universal in human experience, and are represented by primitive predicates in nearly every 
human language. We will know that the Loglan set of them is incomplete when we find that 
words that we wish to build as complexes in Loglan may not be built without certain constituent 
notions that are not yet in our language. 

As I mentioned, there are at present about 860 of these composite primitives in Loglan. It is 
pleasant to report that their number has grown only very slowly over the years. They have been 
tested three times for constructive adeguacy against lists of the most freguently-used concepts in 
four major European languages (English, Spanish, French and German). So far they have passed 
these tests with flying colors. That is to say, they have proved collectively capable, with a 
negligible addition- rate, of supplying metaphors for all the complex notions we have so far 
encountered in these languages.- But they have not been tested against languages which are 
representative of other language- families than the Indo-European one. It will therefore not be 
surprising, on Whorf's hypothesis, to discover that in embracing the concepts of the non- 
European languages, as we are now on the verge of doing, a handful of new "fundamental 
notions" may yet be reguired. If so, a new handful of composite primitives will have to be added. 
These will then be used to express the complex notions of still other major branches of human 

As their name implies, composite primitives are constructed compositely from words drawn 
from many languages. This procedure is described in Section 6.5 below. 

A sixth source of word-growth is obviously inherent in the privilege every loglanist has of 
adding new names to the language. These may be either imitations of natural names, or entirely 
new coinages. There is in principle no limit to the number of names that may be added to the 
language. The making of names is discussed in Section 6.13 . 

Seventh and finally, there are certain "open" classes of CVV-form little words to which new 
members may be added from time to time. Chief among these are the modal operators, such as 
lia = 'like', and the discourse operators, such as sui = 'also', which may be indefinitely 
augmented. In addition, compound attitude indicators, like aiui = Yes, gladly', may also be 
added at will. Changes in, or additions to, other classes of little words will be more difficult to 
accomplish; but it is probable that needs for new punctuation words will be discovered, and it is 
even conceivable that whole new systems of little words will have to be incorporated to 
accommodate grammatical features of natural tongues which have so far been overlooked in our 
analyses. The unused CVV-form words listed in Paradigm L of Loglan 4 & 5 are available for 
making these additions. The V, VV and CV word-spaces have long ago been exhausted. 

In sum, there are seven sources of future word-growth for Loglan: (1) the addition of new 
complex predicates (like djasolsensi for 'sociology of knowledge'); (2) the incorporation of 
international words (like futbo) and (3) local food, tool, plant and animal words (like gorgonzole 
and atlatlu), (4) the coining of language, nationality and culture triplets (like inhuita/-i/-o = 
'Innuit' or 'Eskimo'), (5) taking in yet more of the international vocabulary of science (like 
deoksiribonukli), (6) bringing in new person and place names (like Betcua'naland), and finally 
(7) inventing new compound little words (like pacenoinacefacenoifazu = 'once- and- future- but- 
not-now-and-not-for-long', an ad hoc invention for the present paragraph) and the assignment of 
meanings to little word forms presently unassigned. In the remainder of this chapter we will 
consider how these seven elastic chambers of the language may be utilized by the speaker who 
wishes to contribute to its growth. 

6.3 Making Composite Primitives 

The composite primitives of Loglan are the semantically universal predicates of human 
experience. Such words have all been made in Loglan by deriving them from the eight source 
languages in such a way that the probability of recognizing them, as measured over the 
population who speak one or more of these eight languages, has been maximized. In general this 
has been done by ensuring that each phoneme in the constructed word appears in as many natural 
words of similar or related meaning as possible. The result is that these Loglan primitives have 
been made of overlapping pieces of natural words. It is in this sense that they are composite 

The decision to add a new composite primitive to the language is a major one. Not only is the 
work involved many times greater than that reguired to make a complex, a borrowing, or a local 
primitive, but the presupposition that the machinery for making complex predicates either cannot 
or should not be applied to making a new predicate word for the needed notion, or that the notion 
is not already conveyed by a word that has spread internationally, which would justify our 
borrowing it, or by one that is of only local origin or significance-in which case, for a different 
reason, we would also be justified in borrowing it- is, by this time, likely to be a guestionable 
one. To fail to find a suitable metaphor does not mean one cannot be found; and the discovery of 
a new, truly basic primitive is, by this time, an exceedingly rare event. 

One late arrival in the set of primitives will illustrate this. It was the word setci = 'set'. The word 
klesi for 'class' or 'category' had been around for a long time. But there are many collectivities 
which are not classes, in that their members do not share any taxonomically useful characteristic- 
-as mammals do, for example, and divorced American mothers also do-and which are, therefore, 
only sets. For example, the 37 objects bigger than dust-speck that are currently on my desk 
constitute a set, as do every tenth word in this book. The distinction between sets and classes is 
semantically fundamental... in a logical language. Moreover, there are certain complex notions- 
like 'genotype', 'character', 'kin', and so on-that can hardly be defined, or even thought about, 
without using the notion of a set. Klesi, to be sure, could have been made from the idea of a set- 
but not the other way round. Klesi was already deeply embedded in the semantic structure of the 
language; and anyway, until their differences from sets have been analyzed, classes and 
categories are more likely to be objects of direct perception than sets are. One sees the cardinals 
flitting through the woods as representative of their larger, unseen class: the species Pyrrhuloxia 

cardinalis. But one does not see the scattered objects on one's desk as members of any 
collectivity. ..until, that is, one begins to think metalinguistically about just such phrases as 'the 
objects scattered on my desk'. It is from such historically late thoughts about meaning that the 
concept of sets arises. But late or not it is fundamental to our hypermodern language. For all 
these far-flung reasons, then, setci was reluctantly added to the primitive notions of Loglan, and 
klesi was retained. 

Still, the occasion will again arise-though one would hope, infreguently-when a concept of 
truly general human significance will be found to have no good translation into Loglan and for 
which the existing set of primitives provides no ready route by which to express it 
metaphorically. As mentioned in the previous section, just this occasion may arise when and if 
the productive adeguacy of the existing primitive set is tested against the complex concepts of 
some non-Indo-European language, say Chinese; for when this is done it may turn out that a 
supplementary set of "fundamental notions" will have to be added to our international language. 
It is well, then, to record here the methods by which composite primitives have already been 
built, and by which new ones may still be added to the language. 

In order to achieve a kind of cultural neutrality for Loglan, its primitive predicates were formed 
as composites of words of similar meaning in the natural languages. As I indicated while 
discussing Loglan design principles in Chapter 1, this should make cross-cultural 
experimentation with Loglan not only possible but fair.- To this end, it became our technical 
objective to make at least this one very important category of Loglan words- arguably the most 
important, for among them are the elementary semantic notions of any language- maximally 
recognizable over the largest possible population base.. .or at least one large enough to afford a 
variety of both linguistic and cultural contrasts around which to design cross-cultural 
experiments of a Whorfian cast. This objective was easier to meet than it now sounds. The first 
eight languages with which we tried to meet it turned out to be entirely adeguate- perhaps more 
than adeguate- to the task. For the total amount of recognizability it was possible to build into 
Loglan words from a consideration of just these languages was surprisingly large. 

The languages chosen were, in the order of the combined totals of their primary and secondary 
speakers in 1955: English, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, French and 
German. These are the eight most widely spoken human tongues. The trial addition of the ninth 
language, Arabic, while it would have appreciably increased the size of the population base, as 
well as the linguistical and cultural variety of future experimental designs, turned out to make no 
significant contribution to the average recognizability of our composite words; so Arabic was not 
retained. Tests in the other direction- that is, of the effects of dropping German, French, 
Japanese, etc., in reverse order from our list-were not carried out. We were satisfied with what 
may well be the over- achievement of our aim. 

Linguistically considered, this set of what we may now call the "source languages" of Loglan 
contains representatives of three language-families: Sino-Tibetan (Chinese); Japanese, which is 
sui generis; and Indo-European (all the rest of the source languages). Looked at geographically, 
the source set contains the three most important Asiatic languages-Chinese, Hindi and Japanese- 
-as well as the five most important European ones. Among the source European languages, there 
is a Slavic language (Russian); two Germanic languages (German and English); and two 

Romance languages (French and Spanish). Some of the most interesting structural differences 
among human languages, from the Whorfian point of view, are spanned within this group of 
eight. As to culture, differences large enough to satisfy the most eager Whorfian also exist 
among the peoples represented in this group. The Chinese- Western difference, the Chinese- 
Japanese difference, the Indian-Western difference, the Romance- Germanic one- differences 
which express themselves in some of the widest philosophical, aesthetic, religious, political, 
metaphysical and ideological contrasts now partitioning the planet-all exist within the domain of 
Loglan's carefully contrived neutrality to be experimentally explored. 

The population from which subjects for these experiments might be enlisted, and about which, 
therefore, conclusions might be drawn, is also satisfactorily large. The number of human beings 
who spoke one or more of the eight source languages as a native tongue, or, if none of them, then 
one or more of them as a second language, was, on the statistics available in 1955, roughly three- 
guarters of the population of the Earth.- The average recognizability score of a Loglan composite 
word over this immense source population is 45%. This figure means that a person selected at 
random from this population would have the mathematical expectation of finding that about 45% 
of the sounds of some word of related meaning which da knows, appear in the same order in 
each new Loglan word with which da might be presented. Given the linguistic diversity of the 
source languages, this figure is surprisingly high. One would not have thought there would be so 
much commonality in the sounds of such historically diverse languages. But in part this high 
figure derives from the generosity of the Loglan five- letter form. For very often two very short 
natural words can be accommodated, as it were, side by side. This often happens for example, 
with Chinese and English, the two dominant languages on the list, both of which abound in short 
words. Thus Loglan forli ('strong') contains three- fourths' of English 'fort' followed by all of 
Chinese 'li'. 

For the immense number of primary and secondary speakers of English- now reckoned at well 
over 30% of the world's five billion people- the probability of finding recognizable phonemes in 
a Loglan composite primitive is substantially more than .45; in fact it is about .70. English 
speakers are not only marginally more numerous than the second largest group, namely speakers 
of the Beijing dialect of Chinese, but unlike Chinese, English has lexical affinities with three 
other languages on the list. It shares some of its vocabulary with both Romance languages in the 
source set as well as other words with the other G ermanic tongue. In other words, English has 
more linguistic allies in the source set than any other language in it. This, too, contributes 
substantially to the high average amount of English to be found in the typical composite word. 
Japanese, being sui generis, and so with the fewest allies, is also among the less widely spoken 
languages on the list. So it makes the smallest contribution to the Loglan composite word, with 
an average containment of Japanese phonemes of only 12%. The wide spread between these two 
figures is a conseguence of our method of making-or, more accurately, discovering-high- 
scoring composite seguences, which is the method we will now describe.- 

To maximize the probability of recognition of a given word over the source population, it was 

only necessary to weight the contributions made by each language to each trial word by a 
number which represented the proportion of the total source population who were speakers of 
that language. 1 Then the trial word that demonstrably had the highest weighted- score was taken 

to be the best Loglan word available for the concept. The proportions, or scoring weights, which 
were used in this work are given below: 

English .28 Spanish .09 

Chinese .25 French .06 

Hindi .11 Japanese .06 

Russian .10 German .05 

Let us now consider some examples of how these weights were used 

For the concept 'week' the trial word which received the highest R-score ("recognition score") 
was likta; and likta contains: 

2/3 of English 'week' /uik/ yielding 2/3 X .28 = .19 
3/5 Chinese 'li bai' /libai/ 3/5 X. 25= .15 

3/7 Japanese 'isshukan' /iscukan/ 3/7 X .06 = .03 
2/5 Hindi 'saptah' /sapta/ 2/5X.ll= .04 

3/9 Russian 'niedielia' /niedielia/ 3/9X.10= .03 

Total R-Score: .44 

The phonemes in the natural word which were counted as matching phonemes in the Loglan 
word are given in boldface. 

Likta is a typical word in more ways than one. Not only is its score very near the average, but 
the fact that the only substantial contributions to its recognizability are made by English and 
Chinese is also typical of a very large group of composite primitives. 

Here is the derivation of a fairly high-scoring word, djano = 'know', to which three languages 
made substantial contributions; for djano contains: 

2/2 English 'know' /no/ 2/2 X .28 = .28 
4/4 Hindi 'jan-na' /djan/ 4/4 X .11 = .11 
4/5 Chinese 'j dao' /djdao/ 4/5 X .25 = 20 

Total R-Score: .59 

Note that the suffix '-na' is omitted in the phonemic transcription of the Hindi word 'jan-na' and 
that English 'know' is not transcribed as /nou/, as it would be if we were concerned with the exact 
phonetics of this word. This is because English speakers hear this diphthong as /o/. 

As a third example, consider the derivation of a low-scoring word, dzoru = 'walk', which 
happens to be exclusively derived from the two Far Eastern languages; for dzoru contains: 

4/4 Chinese 'dzou' /dzou/ 4/4 X .25 = .25 
2/3 Japanese 'aru-ku' /aru/ 2/3 X .06 = ,04 

Total R-Score: .29 

Again, a suffix, '-ku' ; is ignored in the calculation. 

Here is another moderately high-scoring word, morto = 'dead'. This one comes exclusively from 
the six Indo-European languages; and it contains: 

3/3 Spanish 'mor-ir' /mor/ 3/3 X .09 = .09 

3/3 French 'mort' /mor/ 3/3 X .06 = .06 

4/5 English 'mortal' /mortl/ 4/5 X .28 = .22 

3/4 Hindi 'mrit' /mrit/ 3/4 X .11= .08 

2/3 German 'tot' /tot/ 2/3 X. 05= .03 

3/5 Russian 'smert' /smert/ 3/5 X .10 = ,06 

Total R-Score: .54 

Each word adopted was, of course, the survivor of a competition among as many as a dozen trial 
words. In nearly all cases the accepted word was demonstrably the best word that could be made 
from the lexical materials considered for each language. The exceptional cases were those in 
which the best word conflicted with an existing word, and so a slightly lower-scoring word had 
to be adopted. 

As the above derivations show, a natural word was held to make a no n- negligible contribution to 
a trial word only under fairly rigid circumstances. Any seguence said to be a "matching" one had, 
in fact, to meet the following three conditions: 

1 . At least two phonemes in the natural word had to match phonemes in the trial Loglan 

2. If exactly two phonemes matched, then they had to occur in the same order in both words 
and be either (a) adjacent in both words, or (b) separated by exactly one consonant in 
both or by exactly one vowel in both. 

3. If three or more matching phonemes occurred, they had only to occur in the same order in 
both words to be counted. That is, no match between the phonemic neighborhoods was 

In other words, we found that if only two phonemes were involved in a given match, they had to 
be reasonably close together and found in the same consonant-vowel pattern in both words. Thus 
the /aCo/ pattern in ?flako was said to match the /aCo/ pattern in 'tabor, but this seguence was 
not taken as matching either the /aVo/ in 'saio' nor the /aCCo/ in 'tabro'. On the other hand, we 
found that if as many as three phonemes were matchable between the trial and the source word, 
then the similarity between them was evidently more robust. For it apparently didn't matter 
whether the contexts matched or not. We found that the order of even three phonemes continued 
to matter, however. 

What sounds of what source languages were taken to "match" what Loglan phonemes was a 
fairly complex problem in local phonemics which was settled differently for each source 
language. In Spanish, for example, any 'a' is said to match Loglan /a/; in English, only the 'a' of 
'father', the 'o' of 'not', and the 'a'-sound occurring in diphthongs like 'aye' and 'ow' were said to 
match Loglan /a/. But because it "sounds like" 'o' to English speakers, the English final 
diphthong /ou/, as in /nou/ = 'know', was said to match Loglan /o/. In French, nasal 'a' and 'o' 
were taken to match Loglan /a/ and lot respectively provided they were followed by /n/ or /m/ in 
the Loglan words, for then it seems so to French ears. In Chinese, the sounds represented by 'hs' 
and 's' in the Wade system of transcription were both taken to match Loglan /s/; the sound 
written 'j ' in Wade but with Y in the Y ale system and in Pinyin is matched with Loglan /r/ even 
though this sound is not recognizably 'r' to any European ear; and the Chinese sound written 'ssu' 
in Wade, 'sz' in Y ale, and 'si' in Pinyin is unmatchable with Loglan because the seguence /sz/, 
which is its approximate phonemic value, is proscribed in Loglan predicates. Of course all eight 
source languages have sounds that do not match any Loglan phonemes at all. But the above 
remarks will give some idea of the problems encountered in comparing the sounds of Loglan 
trial words to the words of several phonologically guite different languages simultaneously, and 
some of the ways in which these problems have been solved. In general, our ruling principle has 
been to set up such identities between Loglan and each source language as would fairly predict 
which sound- pairs would seem "recognizably identical" to a listener from that language, and 
which would not. 

The recommended procedure for contributing a new composite primitive to the language is as 
follows: First, make a list for each of the eight source languages of all possible words in that 
language which might serve as mnemonic cues to the concept to be defined. They do not have to 
be synonyms.- Eight good pronouncing dictionaries will be reguired. Second, transcribe each 
such potential cue- word into Loglan phonemics. Use such matching principles for each language 
as you can devise, or which you can induce from the derivations given in the Loglan-English 
dictionary. Use asterisks (or some other non-phonemic character) to record non-Loglan sounds in 
these transcriptions; for although they can make no contribution to a trial word, they must be 
counted as contributing to the overall length of each cue- word.- Third, make trial words. Each 
word must, of course, be of either CV'CCV-form or CCV'CV-form, and any initial or medial 
consonant- pairs must appear in Tables 2T and 22, respectively, of Chapter 2; that is, they must 
be permissible. In making trial- words, you may be guided by four hypotheses, given here in the 
diminishing order of their liklihood: Hi : The best word will maximize the joint contribution of 
C hinese and E nglish. H 2 : The best word will maximize the contribution of English. H3 : The best 
word will maximize the contribution of Chinese. H 4 : The best word will not maximize either 
Chinese or English, or Chinese and English jointly, but will capitalize on some adventitious 
commonality among cue- words of other languages. H 4 -words are exceedingly rare. There may 
be, of course, several trial- words to be tested under each hypothesis, and words produced under 
Hi, H 2 and H 3 may be identical. Fourth, prove that the highest- scoring trial word or words is in 
fact the best possible word on the lexical materials you have assembled. Fifth, ascertain whether 
the best word conflicts with some existing word, and if it does, adopt the best of the words that 
do not conflict. 

A trial-word is said to conflict with an existing word if (a) they are phonemically identical (no 
homonyms are allowed), (b) they differ only in their final vowels (likta and ?likti would 

conflict for example), or (c) their only difference is a pair of consonants that occupy adjacent 
vertices on the "square of sibilants": 

I I 

z j 

What this third kind of conflict means is that a pair of primitive-form words that differ only in 
the /s c/ difference, for example-as cimra and ?amra ([SHEEM-rah vs. SEEM-rah] would-are 
very likely to be confused in conditions of moderate noise; so this may not be the only difference 
between them. (Cimra/?simro would have an acceptably larger difference between them, for 
instance.) /c j/, /j z/ and /z s/ as only differences would also lead to word-pairs that are likely to 
be confused. However, the "diagonal differences" /s j/ and /c z/ in the square of sibilants are quite 
acceptable. For example, monca = 'mountain' and monza = 'morning' function side-by-side in 
the language with no evident problems. This is probably because two phonetic features 
discriminate the diagonal pairs- specifically the presence or absence of voice and the front-back 
position of the tongue-whereas only one feature discriminates the pairs on the sides of the 
square. Our research has shown us that differences in two features are always sufficient to 
distinguish word-pairs like monca/monza and jurna/surna even in conditions of moderate 
noise. Notice, also, that words differing only in their stressed vowels, like kerti/kurti, are quite 
distinct; whereas the same phoneme-difference in an unstressed syllable, as in larte/?lartu, 
would have generated conflict had we allowed such phonologically close pairs to exist in the 

Members of spana/-i/-o-type triplets do, of course, conflict with one another by this last 
criterion. But this is allowed. In fact, it is a deliberate feature of these semantically closely- 
related sets of local primitives. The fact that they are similar in all but their final vowels signals 
the close semantic relationships between the members of these language- nationality-culture 

When you have made your new composite primitive, and assured yourself that it generates no 
conflicts in the existing lexicon, you may send your new word with its definition and derivation- 
arranged more or less as the dictionary entries for composite primitives are arranged in Loglan 4 
& 5-to the address of The Institute given on the title page of this volume. Accompany it with a 
brief argument as to why you think we need it. For example, lists of useful complexes which 
might be made with your primitive would be germane. If, in the judgement of the Word-Makers 
Council, your word and the concept which it expresses are useful additions to the Loglan 
composite primitives, it will ultimately appear in the next edition of our dictionary, and, in the 
meantime, notice will be given of its acceptance, along with other current new words, in the 
various bulletins to that effect that appear from time to time in The Institute's other publications. 

6.4 Making Complex Predicates 

To add a new complex predicate to the language one must first coin a metaphor or metaphors 
capable of suggesting the meaning of the new predicate to future learners of the language. 

Remember that for the forseeable future Loglan will be learned as a second language by adults, 
only later by children. It is in this adult context that the importance of good metaphors will be 
seen. For example, the metaphor "sign- know" is very likely to suggest to a newcomer to Loglan 
the meaning of a predicate that is well-translated by English 'understand', especially if it is to be 
used in the sense of knowing the meaning of some sign or message. Surely it will do so a little 
better than 'under' plus 'stand' have ever succeeded in doing for adult learners of English! 

Second, after one has made a metaphor, one must make sure that this metaphor or these 
metaphors are in fact expressible in Loglan primitives or borrowings. The metaphor "sign-know" 
is so- expressible; for both sanpa ('sign') and djano ('know') are elemental words.. .in Loglan as 
well as English. 

Third, one must make a trial word or words from the Loglan version of each metaphor, making 
sure that it or they are in morphologically permissible form. For example, sanpa has two short 
affixes, san- and -saa, while djano has but one: dja. So the only possible 6-letter renderings of 
this complex notion are ?sandja and ?saadja. The morphology tells us ( Table 2.3 ) that the 
*/n+dj/-joint is not permissible. In fact it is unintelligible. The /d/ becomes inaudible in this 
context; so the string that is intended to be */ndj/ will be heard as /nj/. Hence ?sandja will be 
heard as sanja, which is primitive in form and thus misinforming. So if we want to use san + 
dja, we must buffer the */n+dj/-joint with the hyphen /y/. The result is sanydja [SAHN-nuh- 
jah], a 7-letter word. The hyphen looks awkward for so common a word. So we decide we prefer 
the one surviving 6-letter form saadja [sah-AH-jah].— 

Finally fourth, one must discover which, if any, of the trial- words is in fact still available in the 
sense of falling within the remaining "free word- space" of the language. At the time it was made, 
the saadja-slot was still free, so saadja was adopted as the word for 'understand'. The metaphor 
was adopted in 1962, and the word itself was remade with the new morphology in 1982. 

Let us take up these points one at a time from the perspective of the maker of a new complex. 

Behind every complex predicate, old or new, stands a metaphor. One's insight into the meaning 
of that metaphor may be as sudden as a hammer-blow, like the immediate understanding that 
morto madzo ('dead-make') can mean nothing else than 'kill', or, like the French phrase 'savoir 
faire' ('to know to do'), one's understanding of its meaning may sink in only slowly over the first 
half dozen occasions of its use. (The same metaphor in Loglan, by the way, is durzo djano = 
'do-know',- this is the thought that lies behind the Loglan complex predicate duodja [doo-OH- 
jah] = 'know how to do'.) 

Sometimes one's understanding of a metaphor depends on the contrasts it makes with other, 
similarly constructed ideas. For example, the difference between the active kind of knowing 
conveyed by duodja and the more passive sort conveyed by saadja is a larger difference than 
the one between saadja and siodja [SYOHD-jah], which also means 'understand' but this time in 
the very different sense of comprehending the workings of some individual or system. Siodja, 
happily enough, is derived from the metaphor sisto djano, or 'system- know', which is an idea 
that seems very satisfactorily to convey the subtle difference between these two basic kinds of 
understanding ('I understand him' vs. 'I understand what he is saying'). 

A good metaphor must also avoid the emptiness of one term's being included in the sense of the 
other. If the meaning of one term in a metaphor is already implicitly contained in the meaning of 
any of its companions, then including it does not add much. Thus ?bersakli = berti sakli ('carry- 
sack') does not express the idea of a suitcase very effectively because (nearly) any sack or bag 
can be carried. ?Berbao = berti bakso ('carry-box') is an improvement since perhaps not all 
boxes can be; but ?berbao does not guite yet make the point about luggage. Racysakli [rah- 
shuh-SAHK-lee] made from traci sakli ('travel- sack') is a better metaphor since travelling is at 
least a surprising thing for a sack to do; but the word itself is awkwardly long. Note that the 
proscribed seguence */cs/ in ?racsakli reguired hyphenation. Moreover, there is no 3-letter affix 
for sakli. So racysakli is perhaps longer than we'd like the word for 'luggage' to be. So the 
metaphor we first chose to convey the idea of a piece of luggage in Loglan was traci bakso 
('travel- box' or 'traveller's- box'). This yielded the complex racbao. We decided that this word 
was best for 'suitcase' because (i) all pieces of luggage travel (ii) not all boxes travel, and (iii) 
nearly all luggage these days is rectilinear or boxlike in shape. Indeed, those that are not-like the 
duffle bags that sailors still use-could well be called racysakli ('travel- sack') in Loglan, a word 
with plain affinities to racbao. But having a pair of words for different kinds of luggage then 
suggested that the general term for luggage ought to be not racbao but racveo [rahsh-VEIGH- 
oh], the second part of this new complex being derived from veslo, a word which means 'vessel' 
and is the generic word for 'container' in Loglan. Thus racveo could mean 'travel-container'. So 
after a number of false starts it appeared that we had at last arrived at our destination. The lesson 
to be learned from this story is not to fall in love with one's early metaphors. Let them lie around 
unloved f